There is massive destruction of transcripts during the maturation of mouse oocytes. The objective of this project was to identify and characterize the transcripts that are degraded versus those that are stable during the transcriptionally silent germinal vesicle (GV)-stage to metaphase II (MII)-stage transition using a microarray approach. A system for oocyte transcript amplification using both internal and 3'-poly(A) priming was utilized to minimize the impact of complex variations in transcript polyadenylation prevalent during this transition. Transcripts were identified and quantified using the Affymetrix Mouse Genome 430 v2.0 GeneChip. The significantly changed and stable transcripts were analyzed using Ingenuity Pathways Analysis and GenMAPP/MAPPFinder to characterize the biological themes underlying global changes in oocyte transcripts during maturation. It was concluded that the destruction of transcripts during the GV to MII transition is a selective rather than promiscuous process in mouse oocytes. In general, transcripts involved in processes that are associated with meiotic arrest at the GV-stage and the progression of oocyte maturation, such as oxidative phosphorylation, energy production, and protein synthesis and metabolism, were dramatically degraded. In contrast, transcripts encoding participants in signaling pathways essential for maintaining the unique characteristics of the MII-arrested oocyte, such as those involved in protein kinase pathways, were the most prominent among the stable transcripts.