Type V collagen is a fibrillar collagen that is widely distributed in tissues as a minor component of extracellular matrix and is usually composed of one pro alpha 2 (V) and two pro alpha 1 (V) chains. In this report, recently isolated cDNA and genomic clones, which encode the pro alpha 1 (V) chain, are used as probes for hybridization to filter-bound DNA from a panel of human-mouse hybrid cell lines and for in situ hybridization to metaphase chromosomes. These studies establish the chromosomal location of the COL5A1 gene, which encodes the pro alpha 1 (V) chain, within segment 9q34.2----q34.3. These findings add to the previously characterized dispersion of collagen genes in the human genome, as this is the first example of a collagen locus on chromosome 9. In addition, these studies place COL5A1 near the locus for the genetic disorder, nail-patella syndrome (hereditary osteo-onychodysplasia), which also maps to 9q34.