Sox (SRY-related genes containing a HMG box) genes encode a family of transcription factors that are involved in a variety of developmental processes including sex determination. Twenty Sox genes are present in the genomes of humans and mice, but far less is known about the Sox gene family in other vertebrate types. We have obtained clones representing the HMG boxes of twelve Sox genes from European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), a fish species whose farming is complicated by a heavily skewed sex ratio, with between 70% and 99% of offspring typically being male. The cloned Sox genes are members of the SoxB, SoxC, SoxE and SoxF groups. Sequence analysis shows that some of the clones represent genes duplicated in sea bass with respect to the mammalian Sox gene family.