Little is known about the genes that control the embryonic erythroid program. Laser capture microdissection was used to isolate primitive erythroid precursors and epithelial cells from frozen sections of the embryonic day 9.5 yolk sac. The RNA samples were amplified and labeled for hybridization to Affymetrix GeneChip Mouse Genome 430A 2.0 arrays. Ninety-one genes are expressed significantly higher in erythroid than in epithelial cells. Ingenuity pathway analysis indicates that many of these erythroid-enriched genes cluster in highly significant biological networks. One of these networks contains RBTN2/LMO2, SCL/TAL1, and EKLF/KLF1, three of the very few genes required for primitive erythropoiesis. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to verify that platelet factor 4, reelin, thrombospondin-1, and muscleblind-like 1 mRNA is erythroid-enriched. These genes have established roles in development or differentiation in other systems, and are, therefore, good candidates for regulating primitive erythropoiesis. These results provide a catalog of genes expressed during primitive erythropoiesis. Developmental Dynamics 237:436–446, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.