Responding B cells in specific immune responses diversify their immunoglobulin genes and are selected on their variant antigen receptors in the microenvironment of the germinal center. The patterns of mutations previously reported for immunglobulin (Ig) genes have supported mechanistic hypotheses of either error-prone DNA synthesis or templated variable region gene conversion as the underlying mechanism in the generation of these mutations. To assess the role of gene conversion in germinal-center somatic mutation, we chose to examine nucleotide changes in mouse lambda light chain genes which arose in response to a specific antigen. Laboratory mice possess three V lambda subexons, two of which differ from one another by only seven nucleotides, making these two subexons ideal for gene conversion. In the current study, we used six-parameter flow cytometry to isolate single lambda light chain-expressing germinal-center B cells from two different time points in a primary immune response. We then individually amplified and sequenced individual V lambda 1 genes from these single cells for mutational analysis. None of the 32 V lambda 1 genes, containing a total of 40 mutations, showed evidence of gene conversion from either of the other V lambda subexons. Features such as the replacement to silent ratio of the mutations documented at the earlier time point indicate an absence of antigen-driven selection. These data indicate that V region gene conversion does not contribute to germinal-center somatic mutation and that gene conversion is not responsible for targeting mutation specifically to rearranged Ig genes. The biological implications are discussed.