The moderately repetitive Ca3 fragment of Candida albicans has been used as an effective DNA fingerprinting probe in epidemiological studies. EcoRI digestion of Ca3 DNA results in seven fragments of 4.2 kb (A), 2.98 kb (B), 2.85 kb (C), 0.77 kb (D1), 0.77 kb (D2), 0.38 kb (E), and 0.30 kb (F). Five of these EcoRI fragments have been mapped in the 5'-3' order C B D1 A D2. The intact Ca3 probe and the three largest EcoRI fragments, A, B, and C, were individually used to probe Southern blots of EcoRI-digested DNA of a set of test strains, transverse alternating field electrophoresis-separated chromosomes of strain 3153A, and Northern (RNA) blots of test strain 3153A. Fragments A, B, and C each generate a different Southern blot hybridization pattern with EcoRI-digested whole-cell DNA; Ca3 sequences are present in at least five of seven separable chromosomes and a minichromosome of strain 3153A; fragments A, B, and C are distributed differently on chromosomes; and fragments A, B, and C do not cross-hybridize. Ca3 hybridizes to three major transcripts of 2.8, 2.3, and 1.5 kb. Fragment A hybridizes intensely to the 1.5-kb transcript, while fragments B and C both hybridize intensely to the 2.8- and 2.3-kb transcripts. The B fragment, which contains 2,980 bp and contributes to the major portion of the Ca3 pattern, was sequenced. Both direct and inverted repeat sequence motifs were identified. These results provide us with initial insights into the evolution of the Ca3 pattern and the nature of the probe.