To study B-cell development from bone marrow (BM), we generated recombination-activating gene 1 (Rag1)-targeted mice lacking mature lymphocytes. B-cell development can be induced in such mice by B cell-specific restoration of a functional Rag1 transcription unit. Follicular and marginal zone B cells populated the spleen when Rag1 expression was permitted. Notably, the peritoneal cavity was dominated by bona fide B-1a cells, as judged by surface markers and functional properties. These BM-derived B-1a cells exhibited a polyclonal VDJ repertoire with substantial N nucleotide insertions. Nevertheless, physiologic frequencies of phosphatidylcholine-specific B cells were detected. Importantly, the BM of young and 5-month-old mice was indistinguishable with regard to the potential to generate B-1a cells.