Ovulation-selective/specific genes, that is, genes preferentially or exclusively expressed during the ovulatory process, have been the subject of growing interest. We report herein studies on the use of suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to construct a 'forward' ovulation-selective/specific cDNA library. In toto, 485 clones were sequenced and analyzed for homology to known genes with the basic local alignment tool (BLAST). Of those, 252 were determined to be nonredundant. Of these 252 nonredundant clones, 98 were analyzed by probing mouse preovulatory and postovulatory ovarian cDNA. Twenty-five clones (26%) failed to show any signal, and 43 cDNAs tested thus far display a true ovulation-selective/specific expression pattern. In this communication, we focus on one such ovulation-selective gene, the fatty acid elongase 1 (FAE-1) homolog, found to be localized to the inner periantral granulosa and to the cumulus granulosa cells of antral follicles. The FAE-1 gene is a β-ketoacyl-CoA synthase belonging to the fatty acid elongase (ELO) family, which catalyzes the initial step of very long-chain fatty acid synthesis. All in all, the present study accomplished systematic identification of those hormonally regulated genes that are expressed in the ovary in an ovulation-selective/specific manner. These ovulation-selective/specific genes may have significant implications for the understanding of ovarian function in molecular terms and for the development of innovative strategies for both the promotion of fertility and its control.