The ROSA beta geo26 (ROSA26) mouse strain was produced by random retroviral gene trapping in embryonic stem cells. Staining of ROSA26 tissues and fluorescence-activated cell sorter-Gal analysis of hematopoietic cells demonstrates ubiquitous expression of the proviral beta geo reporter gene, and bone marrow transfer experiments illustrate the general utility of this strain for chimera and transplantation studies. The gene trap vector has integrated into a region that produces three transcripts. Two transcripts, lost in ROSA26 homozygous animals, originate from a common promoter and share identical 5' ends, but neither contains a significant ORF. The third transcript, originating from the reverse strand, shares antisense sequences with one of the noncoding transcripts. This third transcript potentially encodes a novel protein of at least 505 amino acids that is conserved in humans and in Caenorhabditis elegans.