Penetrance of the complex of genes predisposing the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse to autoimmune diabetes is affected by the maternal environment. NOD.CBALs-Tyr+/Lt is an agouti-pigmented Chromosome 7 congenic stock of NOD/Lt mice produced as a resource for embryo transfer experiments to provide the necessary maternal factors and allow the easy identification of NOD (albino) embryo donor phenotype. CBcNO6/Lt, a recombinant congenic agouti stock already containing approximately 50% NOD genome, was used as the donor source of a wild-type CBA tyrosinase allele. When the incidence of diabetes was assessed after nine generations of backcrossing and one generation of sib-sib mating, significant reduction in diabetes development was observed. No difference in diabetes development was observed in Tyr/Tyrc heterozygotes, showing that protection was recessive. Analysis of diabetes progression in another NOD stock congenic for C57BL/6 alleles on Chromosome 7 linked to the glucose phosphate isomerase (Gpi1b) locus provided no protection, indicating that the diabetes resistance (Idd) gene was distal to 34 cM (D7Mit346). Approximately 5 cM of the distal congenic region overlaps a region from C57L previously associated with protection when homozygous. The delayed onset and reduced frequency of diabetes in the NOD.CBALs-Tyr+/Lt stock is an advantage when females of this stock are used as surrogate mothers in studies involving hysterectomy or embryo transfers. Indeed, a newly developed NOD embryonic stem (ES) cell line injected into NOD.CBALs- Tyr+/Lt blastocysts produced approximately 50% live-born mice, of which approximately 11% were chimeric. Presumably because of high genomic instability, no germline transmission was observed.