The arrangement of tubulin genes in the genome of the protozoan parasite Leishmania major was studied by genomic Southern blot analysis and mapping of genes to chromosomes fractionated by pulsed field gradient gel (PFG) electrophoresis. alpha-tubulin genes exist as a tandem array of 2.4 kb PstI fragments. beta-tubulin genes are found as a tandem array of 3.9 kb AvaI or PvuI fragments, but additional genes are also found on other genomic DNA fragments. Chromosome-sized DNA molecules released from promastigotes of L. major were fractionated into at least 17 chromosome bands of approximate size 400-4000 kb by PFG gel electrophoresis. Some bands may be present in non-equimolar amounts suggesting that there may be more than 17 chromosomes. All alpha-tubulin genes were localized to a single band (chromosome 7). beta-tubulin genes were localized to four bands (chromosomes 6, 10, 16 and 17). This shows that the alpha- and beta- tubulin gene families are unlinked in L. major. There is a single chromosomal locus for the alpha-tubulin tandem array whereas beta-tubulin genes exist both as a tandem array and as dispersed genes at four chromosomal loci.