Recombinant cDNA clones that encode the α subunit of the chicken pituitary glycoprotein hormones were isolated from a pituitary library. The longer of the two cDNA clones that were sequenced was 754bp in length. It contained 81 nucleotides of the 5′-untranslated region (UTR), an open-reading frame of 360bp that encoded a 24 amino acid leader polypeptide sequence as well as the 96 amino acid mature α subunit, and 268 nucleotides of the 3′-UTR, followed by a 45 bp poly(A) tract. There was 69–79% homology between the nucleotide sequence of the coding region for the chicken and mammalian α-subunit cDNAs. Northern blot analysis revealed that the steady-state levels of an approximately 800 bp α-subunit specific transcript increased quantitatively when dispersed chicken pituitary glands were treated in culture with chicken gonadotrophin-releasing hormone-I.