We report the nucleotide sequences of turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II loci (beta 1 domain or exon 2 encoding the peptide-binding region). In the present investigation, three distinct sequences from the beta 1 domain of turkey MHC class II were isolated. A BLAST search and phylogenetic analysis revealed that turkey MHC sequences are most similar to chicken and peacock MHC. There was no strong evidence of recombination among the turkey MHC sequences or with other avian MHC, but diversity was high. The diversity in this peptide-binding region may be the result of point mutation and balancing selection or frequent gene conversion within turkey. However, more work and data are needed to understand the evolution of turkey and other avian MHC. Moreover, polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism analysis of exon 2 using the Hinf I restriction enzyme demonstrated three restriction patterns and a preliminary evidence of multiple beta loci in turkey. PCR-RFLP analysis of turkey MHC class II loci could be a promising method of MHC genotyping, when more sequences are available. Turkey MHC haplotypes identified earlier by RFLP analysis should be sequenced to standardize turkey MHC nomenclature and to develop DNA based method of haplotyping.