A contig of overlapping bacterial and P1-derived artificial chromosome (BAC, PAC) clones derived from the inbred rat strain BN was constructed that encompasses the class II and the class III regions of the rat MHC (RT1 complex). The genomic structure of the rat, human, and mouse class II and class III regions is highly similar. However, different from human and mouse, a copy of the C4, Cyp21, and Stk19 genes is found that maps to the class II region in the rat. Gene trees constructed from human, rat, and mouse C4, Cyp21, and Stk19 sequences show species-specific clustering of the duplicated genes. The class II/III contig reported here links two previously published PAC contigs of the BN rat that contain the centromeric and the telomeric class I regions, RT1-A and RT1-C/E/M, respectively. Thus, the MHC of the rat is now completely mapped in a single contig of BAC/PAC clones derived from a single RT1 haplotype and encompasses about 3.7 Mb.