The tyrosinase gene is known to be essential for melanization and has been shown to rescue pigmentation in albino mice. Previously we have described the strict copy-number-dependent expression of a murine wild-type tyrosinase gene construct over several generations in transgenic mice. In this study, we analysed the same gene construct as a marker gene for the transmission and expression of transgenes in rabbits. Using an albino hybrid strain, we produced transgenic rabbits expressing the murine tyrosinase gene. Strict correlation between integration and expression of the transgene and stable germline transmission of the integrated gene construct according to the Mendelian pattern of inheritance was observed. Thus, breeding control was facilitated by simple phenotypic examination of the transgenic animals. In contrast to mice transgenic for the same gene construct, tyrosinase-transgenic rabbits showed a greater variety in hue, intensity and extent of coat pigmentation, which is caused by the diversity in the loci affecting the melanization. Benefits and limitations of tyrosinase as a marker gene for the detection of homozygous individuals in the albino hybrid strain used are discussed.