Allelic variation of the mouse pink-eyed dilution (p) gene in common laboratory strains and wild mice was examined by Southern blot and by polymerase chain reaction. In these assays the original p mutation allele found in strains SJL/J, 129/J, B10.129(21m), P/J and FS/Ei most closely matches an Asian Mus musculus allele, confirming anecdotal accounts of the Asian origin of this mutation. In contrast, the wild-type allele found in other common laboratory strains was apparently derived from Mus domesticus. Analysis of chromosome 7 loci both proximal and distal to the p locus demonstrates that strains SJL/J, 129/J, B10.129(21M), P/J and FS/Ei contain DNA segments of varying length derived from M. musculus. Strains 129/J and B10.129(21M) contain the largest segment of M. musculus-derived DNA (about 5 cM), including the loci Myod1, p, three clustered GABAA receptor subunit loci (Gabrg3, Gabra5 and Gabrb3), and Snrpn. The difference in the species origin of genes from this region of chromosome 7 may underlie the basis of the antigenicity of the minor histocompatibility antigen H4, defined by the strain B10.129(21M), and may account for the enhanced Myod1 activity observed in SJL/J mice.