We have characterized a new recessive mutation in the mouse which predisposes to the development of polycystic kidney disease. This mutation, called juvenile cystic kidneys (jck), arose in a transgenic line of mice, but appears unrelated to the transgene since it segregates freely from it. While focal cysts are evident in affected animals as early as three days of life and the disease is progressive, the mice are fertile and generally survive to four or more months of age. Complementation analysis indicates that the jck mutation is not allelic with three other known recessive polycystic kidney mutations (cpk and two as yet unnamed mutations), and linkage studies demonstrate it is unlikely to be allelic with a fourth (pcy). The study of these five mutations and their interactions should prove useful for understanding the mechanisms required to maintain the normal integrity of renal tubules.