We describe a new approach to differential hybridization, designed to identify cDNA clones representing rare mRNA species. Duplicate filters carrying a library of cDNA from phorbolmyristate acetate (PMA)-induced EL-4 cells in lambda gt11 were hybridized with high concentrations of unlabeled, cloned, single-stranded cDNA from induced and control EL-4 cells, respectively. Plaques binding single-stranded cDNA were revealed by a second round of hybridization with 35S-labeled DNA complementary to the vector moiety of the single-stranded cDNA. Plaques corresponding to PMA-induced mRNAs occurring at a level of about 1 part in 15,000 were isolated. We believe the method is at least ten times more sensitive than conventional differential hybridization.