Five cDNAs from the cellulolytic fungi Fusarium oxysporum that code for five distinct cellulase homologues have been cloned and sequenced. The cloning strategy exploited the hydrophobic cluster analysis-based cellulase family classification of Henrissat and Bairoch [Biochem. J. 293 (1993) 781-788] to design degenerate oligodeoxyribonucleotides (oligos) that encoded amino-acid sequences conserved in an intra-family, but not inter-family, manner among cellulases from different species. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments using F. oxysporum genomic DNA primed with these 'family-specific' oligos were used to rapidly generate PCR fragments which were in turn used to probe cDNA libraries. Two distinct cDNAs coding for cellulase C-family homologues and one cDNA each coding for homologues to the B, F and K families, were isolated in this manner. This approach is an example of the power of multiple sequence analysis to generate cross-species, homology-based probes to rapidly clone homologues in a species of interest.