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Interstrain restriction fragment length polymorphism was detected after Southern blot hybridization of spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and control (WKY) rat DNA digested by Bam HI restrictase with a v-fos probe. The SHR genome was characterized by an additional minor band of 4.0 kb. Other restriction fragment length polymorphism was revealed in the c-src locus by Eco Rl, Hind III and Pst I restrictases. The major characteristic bands were 1.6 kb (SHR) and 2.4 kb (WKY) after Eco RI restriction; 3.4 kb (SHR) and 4.1 kb (WKY) after Hind III restriction and 4.0 kb (SHR) and 4.6 kb (WKY) after Pst I restriction. This restriction fragment length polymorphism can be used as Mendelian traits in linkage studies on the distribution of blood pressure and other quantitative physiological traits in (SHR x WKY) F2 hybrids.