Polyclonal antibodies were developed in New Zealand White rabbits against DNA modified with diastereomeric benzo[c]phenanthrene-3,4-diol-1,2-epoxide (B[c]PhDE)-1 (4-hydroxyl and epoxide cis) and B[c]PhDE-2 (4-hydroxyl and epoxide trans). Antiserum developed against B[c]PhDE-2-DNA was stereoselective. In competitive ELISA assays using wells coated with 160 fmol B[c]PhDE-2-DNA adducts, B[c]PhDE-2-DNA gave 50% inhibition at 200 fmol adducts/well. B[c]PhDE-1-DNA required a 10-fold higher amount of adducts/well to give 50% inhibition. Benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol-9,10-epoxide-2-DNA and 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-3,4-diol-1,2-epoxide-1-DNA caused only a 30% inhibition even at the highest doses tested (greater than 4000 fmol adducts/well). For antiserum developed against B[c]PhDE-1-DNA, 50% inhibition required 570 fmol B[c]PhDE-1-DNA adducts in wells coated with 100 fmol B[c]PhDE-1-DNA adducts. 7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-3,4-diol-1,2-epoxide-1-DNA and B[c]PhDE-2-DNA were also effective competitors: they caused 50% inhibition at 1900 and 1800 fmol adducts/well respectively. In contrast, benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol-9,10-epoxide-2-DNA gave no inhibition at the highest dose of competitor tested (4050 fmol adducts/well). Antisera from three rabbits immunized with B[c]PhDE-2-DNA demonstrated similar antigen specificities. The properties of these antisera differ from those reported previously for antibodies developed against benzo[a]pyrene-DNA in that they show selectivity for DNA modified by specific hydrocarbon diolepoxides, in one case for B[c]PhDE-2-DNA and in the other for B[c]PhDE-DNA or 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-3,4-diol-1,2-epoxide-1-DNA. The specificity of these antisera will facilitate analysis of the modification of DNA by different polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon diolepoxides.