Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) for polymorphic markers is a frequently occurring event in some tumors, reflecting the role of allele loss in the development of these tumors. We have determined LOH in 38 cases of Wilms tumor for the 2 known loci on chromosome arm 11p and for a newly detected locus on chromosome arm 16q. Only 7 of the 38 tumors studied showed reduction to homozygosity of 11p13 markers. In 4 of these tumors, reduced expression of WTI and WITI, genes located at 11p13 and implicated in Wilms tumorigenesis, was noted. However, this was also found in 2 of 7 tumors showing LOH exclusively of 11p15 markers and in 15 of the remaining 24 tumors in which there was no LOH for 11p markers. This suggests that events not involving mitotic recombination or chromosome nondisjunction are the most common mechanisms for mutations at the 11p Wilms tumor locus. We also noted that mitotic recombination involving 11p15 loci occurred in addition to reduced expression of the 11p 13 locus genes in 2 tumors, suggesting a possible interaction between these 2 loci. In addition, LOH for 16q markers was observed in 6 tumors. In one case this was coincident with reduction of WTI and WITI gene expression, and in 3 other cases it occurred in addition to 11p LOH. This indicates that an additional locus on 16q is likely to be involved in Wilms tumorigenesis. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.