Genetic linkage analysis with polymorphic DNA markers (restriction fragment length polymorphisms: RFLPS) has allowed the assignment of the cystic fibrosis (CF) locus to the long arm of chromosome 7, within the region of band q31. Two of these markers, MET and D7S8, are tightly linked to the disease locus. Although recent data suggest that they are located on opposite sides of CF, the two can be separated by as much as 5 centimorgans. To obtain a better description of the CF locus and, eventually, to identify the affected gene, additional DNA markers are required to connect MET and D7S8, physically. We have screened the flow-sorted chromosome-7-specific library and thus far isolated 28 new probes from the 7q31 region by DNA hybridization analysis that uses a series of somatic cell hybrids containing various portions of human chromosome 7. Together with the previously identified markers, MET, D7S8, D7S13 and D7S16, these new markers should provide a fine genetic and physical map for the chromosomal region surrounding CF. DNA segments can then be sequentially cloned by chromosome walking from points closest to the CF locus and examined for genes that are preferentially expressed in tissues known to be affected in the disease.