We previously reported that the third intron of the X.laevis L1 ribosomal protein gene encodes for a snoRNA called U16. Here we show that four different introns of the same gene contain another previously uncharacterized snoRNA (U18) which is associated with fibrillarin in the nucleolus and which originates by processing of the pre-mRNA. The pathway of U18 RNA release from the pre-mRNA is the same as the one described for U16: primary endonucleolytic cleavages upstream and downstream of the U18 coding region produce a pre-U18 RNA which is subsequently trimmed to the mature form. Both the gene organization and processing of U18 are conserved in the corresponding genes of X.tropicalis and H.sapiens. The L1 gene thus has a composite structure, highly conserved in evolution, in which sequences coding for a ribosomal protein are intermingled with sequences coding for two different snoRNAs. The nucleolar localization of these different components suggests some common function on ribosome biosynthesis.