The nucleotide sequence of the principal component of ovine 1.714 g/cm3 satellite DNA was determined from a monomeric fragment inserted at the BamHI site of pBR322 and cloned in Escherichia coli strain RR1. The 816-bp tandemly repeated sequence contains a number of small repeated sequences dispersed within it, one group of which forms a pentameric tandem repeat of a 13-bp segment (positions 548-612). A 20-bp region (60-79) shows an 85% homology with the reverse-complement of the sequence from 455 through 474. There are two regions of 67 bp (75-141) and 59 bp (755-813) which show greater than 70% homology with regions of bovine 1.715 g/cm3 satellite DNA (1402 bp; positions 1218-1284 and 1079-1137, respectively) while a 31-bp region (ovine 62-92, bovine 133-163) shows 80% homology. Quasi-correlation coefficients (Qr) were determined using the triplet numbers of the sheep satellite versus all sequences in the National Biomedical Research Foundation and EMBL nucleotide sequence data bases. Qr equals 0.85 for ovine 1.714 g/cm3 satellite versus bovine 1.715 g/cm3 satellite. The next highest Qr for a bovine satellite segment was 0.58. Thus, the ovine 1.714 g/cm3 and bovine 1.715 g/cm3 satellite appear demonstrably related. Taking into account that sheep and cattle diverged 18-20 million years ago, this suggests that the material may be functional and that its function is related to its sequence.