Sequences homologous to the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) in a Xenopus anucleolate (nucleolus-less) mutant were analyzed by Southern blot analysis. The mutant was found to possess a variety of sequences homologous to non-transcribed spacer (NTS) and/or coding region of rDNA. 65 rDNA-homologous clones were isolated from a genomic DNA library of the mutant. All the clones showed only partial homology to the normal rDNA unit and their restriction maps differed from that of the normal rDNA unit. Based on the hybridization patterns, the rDNA-homologous clones were divided into four groups (I-IV). Structure of group IV, which most strongly hybridized to normal rDNA probe, was analyzed by nucleotide sequencing. The group IV sequence was found to contain a part of the rDNA, including Bam island, enhancer element, promoter region, external transcribed spacer, and a portion of 18S rRNA gene. The blotting analysis suggested that the group IV sequence is specific for a particular strain of Xenopus.