The draft genome sequence and a large quantity of EST and cDNA information are now available for the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. In the present study, genes involved in pigment synthesis pathways were identified in the decoded genome of Ciona, and information about these genes was obtained from available EST and cDNA sequences. It was found that the Ciona genome contains orthologous genes for each enzyme of the melanin, pteridine, ommochrome, papiliochrome, and heme synthesis pathways. Several appear as independent duplications in the Ciona genome. Because cDNA clones for all but two of these genes have already been isolated by the cDNA project, C. intestinalis will provide an experimental system to explore molecular mechanisms underlying color patterns, through future genome-wide studies.