We have isolated cDNA clones generated from the mRNA encoding the opsin apoprotein of bovine rhodopsin and used these cDNAs to isolate genomic DNA clones containing the complete opsin gene. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the cloned DNAs has yielded a complete amino acid sequence for bovine rhodopsin and provided an intron-exon map of its gene. The mRNA homologous sequences in the 6.4 kb gene consist of a 96 bp 5' untranslated region, a 1044 bp coding region, and a surprisingly long approximately 1400 bp 3' untranslated region, and are divided into five exons by four introns that interrupt the coding region. Secondary structure analysis predicts that the bovine rhodopsin chain, like that of bacteriorhodopsin, contains seven transmembrane segments. Interestingly, three of the four introns are immediately distal to the codons for three of these segments, and one of these introns marks the boundary between the C-terminal domain and a transmembrane domain.