A full-length cDNA encoding the bovine transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) receptor type I (bT beta R-I) was isolated from a placenta cDNA library. The deduced protein sequence of 499 residues contains a single transmembrane domain, a cysteinerich extracellular domain, and an intracellular kinase domain with predicted serine/threonine specificity. The amino acid sequence is 96% and 95% identical with its human and mouse homologues, respectively. Genetic mapping assigned the TGFBR1 gene to bovine chromosome 8 at a male genetic distance of 2 centimorgan from D8S28. Assuming conservation of gene order, the linkage data define a breakpoint in mammalian chromosome evolution. Both TGF-beta receptor type I and II mRNAs were found to be expressed in bovine oocytes and preimplantation two-cell, four-cell, eight-cell, morula-, and blastocyst-stage embryos, as determined by heminested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The mRNA expression patterns of TGF-beta receptor types I, II, and III in a variety of bovine organ tissues were examined by Northern blot hybridization, and highest levels were detected in lung and ovary.