We have used a set of microsatellite polymorphisms (MSPs) to examine the location and frequency of allele loss throughout the genome in a panel of 25 human epithelial ovarian tumours. When more than one MSP was employed per arm, mean informativity was 85.2% (range 64-100%). The average fractional allelic loss was 0.28 (range 0-0.65). A high frequency of allele loss was seen at 5q (40%), 9q (48%), 11p (43%), 14q (46%), 15q (40%), 17p (61%), 17q (64%), 19p (45%) and Xp (40%), confirming previous findings at some sites, but also suggesting the existence of new tumour-suppressor genes in regions (9q, 14q, 15q) which have not previously been studied in ovarian cancer. For 9q and 14q, partial loss of the arm was more common than loss of heterozygosity for all loci. There was a significant relationship between allele loss affecting the short arm of chromosome 17 and allele loss affecting 17q (P < 0.001). No other relationship was detected between allele losses at different sites. Polymerase chain reaction allelotyping is suitable for the examination of very small tumour samples and tumours in which classical karyotyping is problematic.