The medaka is becoming an attractive model organism for the study of vertebrate early development and organogenesis and large-scale mutagenesis projects that are aimed at creating developmentally defective mutants are now being conducted by several groups in Japan. To strengthen the study of medaka developmental genetics, we have conducted a large-scale isolation of ESTs from medaka embryos and developed tools that facilitate mutant analysis. In this study, we have characterized a total of 132,082 sequences from both ends of cloned insert cDNAs from libraries generated at different stages of medaka embryo development. Clustering analysis with 3-prime sequences finally identified a total of 12,429 clusters. As a pilot analysis, 924 clusters were subjected to in situ hybridization to determine the spatial localization of their transcripts. Using EST sequence data generated in the present study, a 60-mer oligonucleotide microarray with 8,091 unigenes (Medaka Microarray 8K) was constructed and tested for its usefulness in expression profiling. Furthermore, we have developed a rapid and reliable mutant mapping system using a set of mapped EST markers (M-marker 2003) that covers the entire medaka genome. These resources will accelerate medaka mutant analyses and make an important contribution to the medaka genome project.