In the present study, we constructed gender-enriched cDNA libraries for the adult stage of the parasitic nematode Oesophagostomum dentatum (order Strongylida) using suppressive-subtractive hybridization (SSH), sequenced clones from the female-library and male-library (480 from each) and conducted bioinformatic and microarray analyses of the expressed sequence tags (ESTs). In total, 873 ESTs (440 male and 433 female) were obtained, achieving a sequencing success of 91%The nucleotide sequences reported in this article (Tables 1–5) have been deposited in the EMBL, GenBank and DDJB databases under the Accession nos. AM157797–AM158083. Microarray analyses of 516 unique ESTs representing both gender-enriched libraries revealed differential hybridization for 391 of them (75·8%). Of these, 220 (56·3%) had significantly greater signal intensities in the female than in the male, and 154 (70%) of these were predicted to have homologues in C. elegans. These homologues were predicted to be involved in key biological processes, including embryonic nutrition, gametogenesis, molecular binding/transport or metabolism, nucleic acid synthesis and function, and signal transduction. Of the 171 ESTs with statistically higher signal intensities in male O. dentatum, 43·8% had homologues in C. elegans. These homologues included major sperm proteins (MSPs) or MSP-like molecules, keratin-like molecules, molecules involved in metabolism, PDZ domain-containing proteins, sugar binding proteins, protein kinases, serine proteases or protease inhibitors, molecules involved in proteolysis and other proteins, such as enzymes and various putative proteins. Of the 287 ESTs (from both gender-enriched cDNA libraries) with no known homologues in C. elegans, 50 (17·4%) had homologues in other nematodes, 8 had homologues in various other organisms and 104 (36·2%) had no homology to any sequence in current gene databases. The present study lays a foundation for the isolation and molecular, biochemical and functional characterization of selected genes from the gender-enriched cDNA archives established for O. dentatum.