Four porcine sperm plasma membrane proteins were previously identified as putative ligands for the oocyte plasma membrane. The present study examined the binding of these proteins and two additional porcine sperm membrane proteins to oocytes from sheep, mice and hamsters as a first step in assessing potential conservation of these putative sperm ligands across species and across mammalian orders. Plasma membrane vesicles were isolated from porcine sperm, solubilised, and the proteins separated by one-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The 7, 27, 39 and 62 kDa porcine sperm protein bands demonstrating predominant binding of the porcine oocyte plasma membrane on ligand blots, a 90 kDa protein band demonstrating minor binding, and a 97 kDa protein band that did not bind the oocyte plasma membrane probe were electroeluted. Proteins were biotinylated, and incubated with zona-free oocytes. Bound biotinylated protein was labelled with fluorescent avidin and the oocytes examined with a confocal microscope. The 7 kDa, 27 kDa and the 39 kDa proteins bound to the sheep oocytes but not to a majority of the hamster or mouse oocytes. The 62 kDa protein bound to sheep oocytes and mouse oocytes but not to a majority of the hamster oocytes. The 90 kDa protein bound to oocytes from all three species. The 97 kDa protein, which did not recognise the porcine oocyte probe on a Western ligand blot, did not bind to oocytes from any species and served as a negative control. These observations are consistent with significant conservation of molecule and function among species within the same mammalian order. Hence, one species may be a good model for other species from the same order. Only limited conservation of binding activity of porcine sperm plasma membrane proteins to rodent oocytes was observed, suggesting a greater divergence either in molecular structure or in function among species from different orders.