The Xenopus laevis DNA fragment encoding a protein homologous with human bone morphogenetic protein-1 (BMP-1) was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from cDNA derived from stage 26 (st.26) embryonic RNA. Subsequently this fragment was used as a probe to isolate cDNA clones by screening of a X. laevis st.24 embryonic cDNA library. Two partial clones (22 and 63) were obtained and the missing 5'-end of the clone 22 was extended by the anchored PCR technique. The nucleotide sequence of the resulting clone (22AN) contained an open reading frame coding for a protein with 707 deduced amino acids. Three sizes of mRNA (2.9, 5.2 and 6.6 kb) were detected in blastula (st.9) and early gastrula (st.10) embryos, and in hatched tadpole (st.40), but little or no expression was observed in morula (st.7) and late gastrula (st.12) embryos, suggesting a physiological role(s) of X.laevis BMP-1 in normal embryonic development.