Homeodomain (HD)-containing proteins have been shown to regulate cellular commitment and differentiation in fungal, invertebrate and vertebrate systems. Bone marrow cells synthesizing the CD34 antigen are a complex mix of early, stem and progenitor cells at various stages of commitment to the many haemopoietic lineages. Here, we report the cloning and sequencing of 31 homeobox (HB) sequences, identified using degenerate oligodeoxyribonucleotide primers, in a polymerase chain reaction with cDNA derived from a purified CD34+ population of human haemopoietic cells. Of these sequences, 16 correspond to previously identified genes, and 13 are located within the HOX A, B and C clusters. Ten of the clones most likely represent human homologues of genes identified previously in other species. Five of the clones reported here represent novel HD sequences. The identification of five new genes using a subclass-specific 5' primer, designed from the engrailed and Xanf1 sequences, suggests that there still remain several uncharacterized HB genes in the human genome. Haemopoietic cells purified on the basis of CD34 antigen synthesis are a rich source of regulatory genes consistent with their ability to differentiate into diverse haemopoietic cell types.