A panel of 22 hybrids was tested for the presence of the gene coding for human cysteine dioxygenase (CDO) by using human specific oligonucleotide primers in the polymerase chain reaction. Detection of human CDO completely correlated with the presence of human chromosome 5. A human total genome cosmid library was screened with a PCR product from the coding region of human CDO cDNA and the two positive clones identified were used in fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) analysis on metaphase chromosome spreads. Fluorescent signals were seen on chromosome 5q22-23. Interspecific backcross mapping in the mouse indicated that Cdo, the mouse homologue of CDO, is situated in the central region of mouse chromosome 18 which shares a region of homology with human chromosome 5.