All the protamines present in detectable amounts in a single mature testis from rainbow trout have been purified to homogeneity using acid extraction, gel filtration chromatography on Bio-Gel P-10, ion-exchange chromatography on carboxymethylcellulose and reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography. Each of the six purified protamines was completely sequenced using automated gas-phase Edman degradation. Each protamine is two-thirds arginine and also contains proline, serine, valine and glycine. Three protamines also contain alanine while two contain isoleucine. Four of the protamines have 32 amino acids while the remaining two have 30. The six protamines have been classified into three families on the basis of their amino acid sequences.