A gene exhibiting homology to the polygalacturonases of several species, including tomato and Oenothera, has been shown by RNA dot-blot analysis and in situ hybridization experiments to be expressed post-first microspore mitosis in maize. A 2.87 kbp section of the promoter fused to E. coli β-glucuronidase (uidA) coding sequence conferred the correct spatial and temporal expression in transgenic tobacco plants. However, low levels of expression were detected in other tissues, and in particular in the tissues surrounding the vascular branch points of leaf nodes. The maize polygalacturonase gene is one member of a highly conserved gene family. The lack of detectable expression in sporophytic tissues and the isolation of a number of related cDNAs from maize suggests that all expressed members of this family show the same spatial and temporal regulation.