It has been shown that POU domain genes play critical roles in the development of the nervous system. We have obtained a new member of the class III POU domain genes, qBrn-1, from the cDNA library of embryonic day 5 quail and have made an extensive expression pattern analysis of qBrn-1 and qBrn-2 throughout the early embryonic development by in situ hybridization. With a specific antibody we prepared, further analysis by immunohistochemistry showed that the location of qBrn-1 protein was consistent with that of the transcripts in the early developing quail. Our results showed that both qBrn-1 and qBrn-2 were preferentially expressed in the developing central nervous system, and their transcripts were initially detected in the neural plate and later in the distinct regions of the neural tube with a stage-dependent pattern. Moreover, their expression was also detected in both notochord and neural crests. However, qBrn-1 signal, different from qBrn-2, was more widely found in the auditory pits, branchial arches, and in the mesodermal components of the developing kidney. And the expression of qBrn-1 in nephric region was earlier and wider than that of mouse Brn-1, suggesting the characteristic function of qBrn-1 in the kidney formation. The distinct dynamic expression patterns of qBrn-1 and qBrn-2 indicate multiple roles of the class III POU genes in quail neurogenesis and organogenesis. Developmental Dynamics 235:1107–1114, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.