Although >90% of patients with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) have been estimated to have mutations in the COL1A1 and COL1A2 genes for type I procollagen, mutations have been difficult to detect in all patients with the mildest forms of the disease (i.e., type I). In this study, we first searched for mutations in type I procollagen by analyses of protein and mRNA in fibroblasts from 10 patients with mild OI; no evidence of a mutation was found in 2 of the patients by the protein analyses, and no evidence of a mutation was found in 5 of the patients by the RNA analyses. We then searched for mutations in the original 10 patients and in 5 additional patients with mild OI, by analysis of genomic DNA. To assay the genomic DNA, we established a consensus sequence for the first 12 kb of the COL1A1 gene and for 30 kb of new sequences of the 38-kb COL1A2 gene. The sequences were then used to develop primers for PCR for the 103 exons and exon boundaries of the two genes. The PCR products were first scanned for heteroduplexes by conformation-sensitive gel electrophoresis, and then products containing heteroduplexes were sequenced. The results detected disease-causing mutations in 13 of the 15 patients and detected two additional probable disease-causing mutations in the remaining 2 patients. Analysis of the data developed in this study and elsewhere revealed common sequences for mutations causing null alleles.