The cystic fibrosis (CF) gene was recently identified as a gene spanning 250 kilobases (kbp) and coding for a 1480 amino acid protein, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Approximately 70% of CF mutations involve a three-base-pair deletion in CFTR exon 10, resulting in the loss of a phenylalanine at position 508 in the gene product (delta F508). In order to screen for other molecular defects, we have used a strategy based on denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified gene segments. This method, which permits rapid detection of any sequence change in a given DNA stretch, was used successfully to analyse 61 non-delta F508 CF chromosomes from French CF patients. A study of CFTR exons 10, 11, 14a, 15 and 20 detected three mutations located in exons 14a, 15 and 20, along with several nucleotide sequence polymorphisms. These nucleotide changes were identified by direct sequencing of PCR fragments displaying altered electrophoretic behaviour, together with some of the polymorphisms and mutations previously characterized by others. The strategy presented here constitutes a valuable tool for the development of carrier testing for individuals or couples with a family history of cystic fibrosis, and will contribute to deciphering the functionally important regions of the CFTR gene.