A detailed study of the expression pattern of embryonic fibroblast growth factor (eFGF) during early Xenopus development has been undertaken using whole-mount DIG in situ hybridization. We show that the zygotic expression of eFGF is activated in the mesoderm of the early gastrula and is first visualized as a ring around the blastopore, with significantly higher levels of expression on the dorsal side of the embryo. As gastrulation proceeds, eFGF transcripts become increasingly abundant in the dorsal blastopore lip. In the early neurula eFGF expression can be detected in the extreme posterior of the embryo around the closed blastopore and in the cells of the notochord. This latter result is significant and represents the first report of a Xenopus FGF that is expressed in the notochord. In addition, we show that during gastrula and neurula stages, expression of eFGF closely follows the expression of the Xenopus brachyury (Xbra) gene. During later development eFGF expression is localized to the tail-bud region and a stripe at the mid-brain/hind-brain junction. These data provide further evidence that FGFs play an important role in regulating the expression of brachyury in the developing mesoderm.