Autosomal recessive limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2) is a clinically and genetically heterogenous group of diseases involving at least six different loci. Five genes have already been identified: calpain-3 at LGMD2A (15q15), and four members of the sarcoglycan (SG) complex, alpha-SG at LGMD2D (17q21), beta-SG at LGMD2E (4q12), gamma-SG at LGMD2C (13q12), and delta-SG at LGMD2F (5q33-q34). The gene product at LGMD2B (2p13-p16) is still unknown and at least one other gene is still unmapped. We investigated 20 Turkish families (18 consanguineous) diagnosed as having LGMD2. Most of our patients had onset of symptoms before age 10. The phenotypes varied from severe to benign. We analyzed the SG complex by immunofluorescence and/or western blot. Genotyping was performed using markers defining the six known loci and the suspected genes were screened for mutations. Six of 17 index cases showed deficiency of the SG complex, by immunofluorescence and/or western blot. Seven cases involved one of the known genes of the SG complex (alpha, 2; beta, 1; and gamma, 4 cases), and five mutations were documented in the alpha- and gamma-SG genes. After linkage analysis, 10 families were characterized as having LGMD2A (calpain-3 deficiency), and all mutations were eventually identified. One family was classified as having LGMD2B and 1 family that has normal SGs was linked to the chromosome 5q33-q34 locus (LGMD2F). In 1 family there was no linkage to any of the known LGMD2 loci. It appears that in Turkey, there is a broad spectrum of genes and defects involved in LGMD2. It may be possible to correlate genotype to phenotype in LGMD2. All severe cases belonged to the gamma-SG-deficiency group. Nine calpain-3-deficient cases had intermediate and 1 had moderate clinical courses. The LGMD2B patient had a moderate clinical expression, whereas the LGMD2F case was truly benign.