Tnr1 is a repetitive sequence in rice with several features characteristic of a transposable DNA element. Its copy number was estimated to be about 3500 per haploid genome by slot-blot hybridization. We have isolated six members of Tnr1 located at different loci by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and determined their nucleotide sequences. The Tnr1 elements were similar in size and highly homologous (about 85%) to the Tnr1 sequence identified first in the Waxy gene in Oryza glaberrima. A consensus sequence of 235 bp could be derived from the nucleotide sequences of all the Tnr1 members. The consensus sequence showed that base substitutions occurred frequently in Tnr1 by transition, and that Tnr1 has terminal inverted repeat sequences of 75 bp. Almost all the chromosomal sequences that flank the Tnr1 members were 5'-PuTA-3' and 5'-TAPy-3', indicating that Tnr1 transposed to 5'-PuTAPy-3' sites, duplicating the TA sequence. PCR-amplified fragments from some rice species did not contain the Tnr1 members at corresponding loci. Comparison of nucleotide sequences of the fragments with or without a Tnr1 member confirmed preferential transposition of Tnr1 to 5'-PuTAPy-3' sites, duplicating the TA sequence. One amplified sequence suggested that imprecise excision had occurred to remove a DNA segment containing a Tnr1 member and its neighboring sequences at the Waxy locus of rice species with genome types other than AA. We also present data that may suggest that Tnr1 is a defective form of an autonomous transposable element.