The gene for the autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder spinal muscular atrophy has been mapped to a region of 5q13 flanked proximally by CMS-1 and distally by D5S557. We present a 2-Mb yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) contig constructed from three libraries encompassing the D5S435/D5S629/CMS-1-SMA-D5S557/D5S112 interval. The D5S629/CMS-1-SMA-D5S557 interval is unusual insofar as chromosome 5-specific repetitive sequences are present and many of the simple tandem repeats (STR) are located at multiple loci that are unstable in our YAC clones. A long-range restriction map that demonstrates the SMA-containing interval to be 550 kb is presented. Moreover, a 210-kb cosmid array from both a YAC-specific and a chromosome 5-specific cosmid library encompassing the multilocus STRs CATT-1, CMS-1, D5F149, D5F150, and D5F153 has been assembled. We have recently reported strong linkage disequilibrium with Type I SMA for two of these STRs, indicating that the gene is located in close proximity to or within our cosmid clone array.