Some genes affect meat quality in chickens. We looked for polymorphisms in the Gallus gallus α-RyR gene (homologous to RyR 1) that could be associated with PSE (pale, soft and exudative) meat. Because RyR genes are over 100,000 bp long and code for proteins with about 5000 amino acids, primers were designed to amplify a fragment of hotspot region 2, a region with a high density of mutations in other species. Total blood DNA was extracted from 50 birds, 25 that had PSE meat and 25 normal chickens. The DNA samples were amplified by PCR, cloned, sequenced, and used to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The amplified fragment of α-RyR was 604 nucleotides in length; 181 nucleotides were similar to two exons from a hypothetical turkey cDNA sequence for α-RyR. A non-synonymous nucleotide substitution (G/A) was identified in at least one of the three sequenced clones obtained from nine animals, six PSE (HAL+) birds and three normal (HAL-) birds; they were heterozygous for this mutation. This SNP causes a change from Val to Met in the α-RYR protein. Since the frequencies of this SNP were not significantly different in the PSE versus normal chickens, it appears that this mutation (in heterozygosity) does not alter the structure or function of the muscle protein, making it an inappropriate candidate as a genetic marker for PSE meat.