MAGEST is a database for maternal gene expression information for an ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi. The ascidian has become an animal model in developmental biological research because it shows a simple developmental process, and belongs to one of the chordate groups. Various data are deposited into the MAGEST database, e.g. the 3′- and 5′-tag sequences from the fertilized egg cDNA library, the results of similarity searches against GenBank and the expression data from whole mount in situ hybridization. Over the last 2 years, the data retrieval systems have been improved in several aspects, and the tag sequence entries have increased to over 20 000 clones. Additionally, we constructed a database, translated MAGEST, for the amino acid fragment sequences predicted from the EST data sets. Using this information comprehensively, we should obtain new information on gene functions. The MAGEST database is accessible via the Internet at http://www.genome.ad.jp/magest/.