Small eye (Sey) in mouse is a semidominant mutation which in the homozygous condition results in the complete lack of eyes and nasal primordia. On the basis of comparative mapping studies and on phenotypic similarities, Sey has been suggested to be homologous to congenital aniridia (lack of iris) in human. A candidate gene for the aniridia (AN) locus at 11p13 has been isolated by positional cloning and its sequence and that of the mouse homologue has been established (C.T., manuscript in preparation). This gene belongs to the paired-like class of developmental genes first described in Drosophila which contain two highly conserved motifs, the paired box and the homeobox. In vertebrates, genes which encode the single paired domain as well as those which express both motifs have been described as the Pax multigene family. A Pax gene recently described as Pax-6 is identical to the mouse homologue of the candidate aniridia gene. Here we report the analysis of three independent Sey alleles and show that indeed this gene is mutated and that the mutations would predictably interrupt gene function.