Transgenic mice were constructed with a functional T cell receptor beta gene. Transcription of the introduced gene is largely confined to T cells, but low levels of transcripts are also seen in B cells and in other tissues. Serological analyses show that most, if not all, of the T lymphocytes express the transgenic beta chain on the cell surface and lack beta chains encoded by endogenous beta genes. Molecular genetic analyses of uncloned and cloned T lymphocytes demonstrate that rearrangement of endogenous beta genes is incomplete. Partial D beta 1-J beta 1 rearrangements are found preferentially, while complete VDJ rearrangements are not seen. These findings show that expression of the transgene regulates the rearrangement of endogenous beta genes. Although the alpha beta T cell receptors of the transgenic mice are homogeneous with respect to the beta chain, they are fully functional, at least in a variety of allogeneic responses.