The control of primordial follicle recruitment into the growing follicle population is a major limiting process in female reproduction. In order to gain insight into the molecular processes occurring at the time of primordial follicle activation, a subtractive hybridization analysis was performed between cDNAs prepared from temporally distinct mouse neonatal ovarian tissues that differed according to the state of primordial follicle activation. One highly represented clone associated with activation was an Mt retrotransposon-like sequence designated Mtfull, which was subsequently cloned and determined to be novel and restricted in expression to the ovary. The polyadenylated 1684-bp sequence has long terminal repeats, is predicted to be noncoding, and is the predominant Mti-related sequence present in the mouse ovary. In situ hybridization further localized Mtfull expression to the oocyte and confirmed that expression is concomitant with follicle activation. Together with in silico data, we predict Mtfull plays an essential role in folliculogenesis through regulation of gene expression. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.