cDNA copies of a bovine lysozyme (bLys)-encoding gene (Lys) were isolated from libraries specific for granulocytes, as well as the lactating mammary gland. Analysis of each of the longest Lys-specific cDNA inserts revealed nucleotide sequence identity over the entire overlap of 1418 bp. Incomplete at the 5' end, the combined sequence codes for 11 of the 18-amino-acid (aa) Lys leader peptide and 130 aa residues of the mature Lys. Similar to mouse and human Lys from blood cells, the encoded protein contains one aa residue more (Pro103) than any of the bLys derived from stomach. Furthermore, unlike any of the known bLys genes, our sequence reveals the copy of a bovine retroposon element in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the mRNA approximately at the same position where an Alu-retroposon element resides within the human copy of the gene. As a further distinction from bLys expressed in stomach, we identified a segment within the 3'UTR of the mRNA which is conserved between the bovine and human blood cell variants of the Lys, but does not have significant sequence homology to any of the bovine lysozyme genes known so far. By sequence comparisons, we present evidence that this segment has been deleted during evolutionary divergence of the stomach Lys. Hence, we describe the sequence of a heretofore unknown bLys, being expressed in granulocytes. Bearings of our observations on the understanding of Lys evolution are discussed, as well as the possibility that the product of this gene may be responsible for the functional Lys activity in bovine milk.