The complete amino acids sequence of the ovine pituitary follitropin beta-subunit was established by studying the tryptic, chymotryptic and thermolytic peptides. The N-terminal sequence of the subunit was confirmed by subjecting the oxidated protein to Edman degradation in an automated sequenator. Automated Edman degradation of the reduced and alkylated (with iodo [14C]acetamide) beta-subunit indicated that most of the molecules used in the sequence studies had lost the N-terminal serine residue. This also confirmed the location of the first five half-cystine residues in the sequence. The proposed structure shows the presence of 111 amino acid residues with the two oligosaccharide moieties linked to asparagine residues located at positions 6 and 23. Heterogeneity occurs at both the termini of the polypeptide chain. Comparison of the sequence of beta-subunit of the ovine hormone with that proposed for human follitropin beta-subunit shows the absence of any deletions in the middle of the peptide chain. Of the 13 replacements, 11 residues can be explained on the basis of a single base change in the codon. The single tryptophan residue of the follitropin occupies an identical position in all the four species that have been studied. The region corresponding to residues 63-105 of the ovine beta-subunit is highly conserved in all the species.