Transducin is a guanyl nucleotide-binding protein that couples rhodopsin photolysis to hydrolysis of guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate in rod photoreceptor cells of vertebrate retinas. Several complementary DNA clones encoding transducin subunits have recently been characterized. One clone, isolated from a bovine retina complementary DNA library, encodes a previously unidentified polypeptide with an amino acid sequence 78% identical to the sequence of the alpha subunit of bovine rod outer segment transducin. Antibodies to a synthetic peptide with amino acid sequence derived specifically from this novel polypeptide recognize a 41-kilodalton polypeptide in homogenates of bovine retina. Localization of this polypeptide in bovine retina by indirect immunofluorescence demonstrates that it is expressed only in cone outer segments. Antibodies to specific sequences found only in the rod transducin alpha subunit recognize a polypeptide localized only in the rod outer segment. Therefore, bovine rod and cone cells each express structurally related yet significantly different forms of transducin.