Allene oxides are a very unusual type of epoxide that, in biological systems, are formed by the enzymic dehydration of fatty acid hydroperoxides (lipoxygenase products). This reaction occurs widely in plants, in which allene oxide synthesis is a key step in the conversion of linolenic acid to jasmonic acid, the plant growth regulator. We report biosynthesis of the allene oxide (8R)-8,9-epoxyeicosa-(5Z,9,11Z,14Z)-tetraenoic acid via the (8R)-lipoxygenase metabolism of arachidonic acid in starfish oocytes. Formation of the allene oxide was deduced from high pressure liquid chromatography, UV, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and 1H-NMR analyses of the precise structure and mechanism of biosynthesis of its major hydrolysis product, the alpha-ketol 8-hydroxy-9-ketoeicosa-(5Z,11Z,14Z)-trienoic acid. A second enzymic activity detected in the oocytes (hydroperoxide lyase) cleaves specifically the (8R)-hydroperoxy substrate into C7 and C13 fragments, identified as the hydroxyacid, (5Z)-7-hydroxyheptenoic acid, and two aldehydes, (2E,4Z,7Z)-tridecenal and its 4E isomer. Discovery of the allene oxide synthase and hydroperoxide lyase marks the first definitive localization of these enzymic activities to an animal cell. It was established previously that the (8R)-lipoxygenase metabolite (8R)-HETE will activate the maturation (re-initiation of meiosis) of starfish oocytes. The individual 8-lipoxygenase products may be involved at distinct stages of cell development.