Biotinidase deficiency is an autosomal recessive defect in the recycling of biotin that can lead to a variety of neurologic and cutaneous symptoms. The disease can be prevented or effectively treated with exogenous biotin. The biotinidase locus (BTD) has been maped to 3p25 by in situ hybridization. The gene has been cloned, the coding region sequenced, the genomic organization determined, and a spectrum of mutations has been characterized in more than 90 individuals with profound or partial biotinidase deficiency. We have conducted haplotype analysis of 10 consanguineous and 39 nonconsanguineous probands from the United States and 8 consanguineous probands from Turkey to localize BTD with respect to polymorphic markers on 3p and to investigate the origins of five common mutations. The inbred probands were homozygous for overlapping regions of 3p ranging in size from 1.1 to 80 cM which were flanked most narrowly by D3S1259 and D3S1293. Radiation hybrids and haplotype analysis of markers within this region suggest that BTD is located within a 0.1-cM region flanked by D3S3510 and D3S1286. The radiation hybrid data suggest that the BTD gene is oriented 5' to 3' between the centromere and the 3p telomere. Association studies indicate that the gene is closer to a third locus D3S3613 than D3S3510, two markers which cannot be resolved by existing linkage data. The BTD locus and D3S3613 must therefore lie between D3S3510 and D3S1286. Comparison of haplotypes reveals evidence for possible founder effects for four of the five common mutations.