In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, two genes (GRS1 and GRS2) encode glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GlyRS1 and GlyRS2, respectively). 59% of the sequence of GlyRS2 is identical to that of GlyRS1. Others have proposed that GRS1 and GRS2 encode the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial enzymes, respectively. In this work, we show that GRS1 encodes both functions, whereas GRS2 is dispensable. In addition, both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial phenotypes of the knockout allele of GRS1 in S. cerevisiae are complemented by the expression of the only known gene for glycyl-tRNA synthetase in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Thus, a single gene for glycyl-tRNA synthetase likely encodes both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial activities in most or all yeast. Phylogenetic analysis shows that GlyRS2 is a predecessor of all yeast GlyRS homologues. Thus, GRS1 appears to be the result of a duplication of GRS2, which itself is pseudogene-like.