The entire nucleotide sequence of a 1.7-kilobase embryonic DNA fragment containing five joining (J) DNA segments for mouse immunoglobulin kappa chain gene has been determined. Each J DNA segment can encode amino acid residues 96--108. Comparison of one of the five J DNA sequences with those of an embryonic variable (V) gene and a complete kappa chain gene permitted localisation of a precise recombination site. The 5'-flanking regions of J DNA segments could form an inverted stem structure with the 3'-non-coding region of embryonic V genes. This hypothetical structure and gel-blotting analysis of total embryo and myeloma DNA suggest that the somatic recombination may be accompanied by excision of an entire DNA segment between a V gene and a J DNA segment. Antibody diversity may in part be generated by modulation of the precise recombination sites.