AbstractIn situ synchrotron radiation diffraction was performed during the compression of as-cast Mg–3Nd–Zn alloys with different amounts (0, 0.5, 1, and 2 wt %) of Zn addition at room temperature. During the tests, the acoustic emission signals of the samples were recorded. The results show that the addition of Zn decreased the strength of the alloys but, at the same time, increased their ductility. In the earlier stages of deformation, twin formation and basal slip were the dominant deformation mechanisms. The twins tended to grow during the entire compression stage; however, the formation of new twins dominated only at the beginning of the plastic deformation. In order to accommodate the strain levels, the alloys containing Zn underwent nonbasal slip in the later stages of deformation. This can be attributed to the presence of precipitates containing Zn in the microstructure, inhibiting twin growth.