The male component of the self-incompatibility response in Brassica has recently been shown to be encoded by the S locus cysteine-rich gene (SCR). SCR is related, at the sequence level, to the pollen coat protein (PCP) gene family whose members encode small, cysteine-rich proteins located in the proteo-lipidic surface layer (tryphine) of Brassica pollen grains. Here we show that the Arabidopsis genome includes two large gene families with homology to SCR and to the PCP gene family, respectively. These genes are poorly predicted by gene-identification algorithms and, with few exceptions, have been missed in previous annotations. Based on sequence comparison and an analysis of the expression patterns of several members of each family, we discuss the possible functions of these genes. In particular, we consider the possibility that SCR-related genes in Arabidopsis may encode ligands for the S gene family of receptor-like kinases in this species.