Six essential genes located near the mouse albino locus have been identified as required during specific periods of development. Amongst these six, each is required either during the preimplantation stages of development, at specific times during gastrulation, within 12 hrs after birth or during juvenile development. These genes were identified as a result of extensive genetic complementation analysis using embryos homozygous for the albino deletions. Although, in principal, the associated developmental abnormalities could result from loss of multiple genes, the deletion phenotype in one case is identical to that induced by chemical mutagenesis. These results indicate that the abnormalities observed in deletion homozygotes may result from single gene loss. The deletions have proven useful not only as genetic tools to localize the position of the genes, but also as molecular entry points to the regions containing these genes. The current methodology being used to isolate candidate genes from the albino region is also reviewed here.