Chromosomal homologies between individual human chromosomes and the bovine karyotype have been established by using a new approach termed Zoo-FISH. Labeled DNA libraries from flow-sorted human chromosomes were used as probes for fluorescence in situ hybridization on cattle chromosomes. All human DNA libraries, except the Y chromosome library, hybridized to one or more cattle chromosomes, identifying and delineating 50 segments of homology, most of them corresponding to the regions of homology as identified by the previous mapping of individual conserved loci. However, Zoo-FISH refines the comparative maps constructed by molecular gene mapping of individual loci by providing information on the boundaries of conserved regions in the absence of obvious cytogenetic homologies of human and bovine chromosomes. It allows study of karyotypic evolution and opens new avenues for genomic analysis by facilitating the extrapolation of results from the human genome initiative.