The nucleotide sequence of a full length cDNA of delta-crystallin mRNA from chicken lens has been determined using a delta-crystallin cDNA clone (pB delta 11), which represents the mRNA sequence of 1530 nucleotides from the poly(A) junction but does not contain the 5'-terminal sequence of 44 nucleotides of the mRNA. The 5'-terminal sequence of the mRNA, absent in the cDNA clone, has been determined with a stretch of cDNA sequence by the primer extension procedure. The amino acid sequence deduced from the nucleotide sequence is consistent with the amino acid sequences of several tryptic peptides, the total amino acid composition, and the mol. wt. of delta-crystallin estimated by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The computer-assisted analysis predicts high alpha-helical content throughout the polypeptide. Sequence analyses have revealed that gene 1 encodes the mRNA from which the cDNA clone was derived.