The Y-chromosomal gene TSPY (testis-specific protein Y-encoded) is probably involved in early spermatogenesis and has a variable copy number in different mammalian species. Analysis of bovine BAC clones leads to an estimate of 90 TSPY loci on the bovine Y chromosome. Half of these loci (TSPY-M1 and TSPY-M2) contain a single copy, while the other loci (TSPY-C) contain a cluster of three, possibly four, truncated pseudogenes. Fluorescence in situ hybridization indicated that the TSPY loci are located mainly on the short arm (Yp). The TSPY genes appear to account for about 2.5% of the Y chromosome and contain several published bovine Y-chromosomal microsatellites. The homology of TSPY and the major Y-chromosomal repetitive elements BRY.2 from cattle and OY.1 from sheep (80-85% similarity) further illustrates how the Y chromosome is shaped by rearrangements and horizontal spreading of the most abundant sequences. A comparison of TSPY-M1 sequences from different BAC clones and from related bovine species suggests concerted evolution as one of the mechanisms of the rapid evolution of the mammalian Y chromosome.