Responses to drought and salinity in barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Tokak) were monitored by microarray hybridization of 1463 DNA elements derived from cDNA libraries of 6 and 10 h drought-stressed plants. Functional identities indicated that many cDNAs in these libraries were associated with drought stress. About 38% of the transcripts were novel and functionally unknown. Hybridization experiments were analyzed for drought- and salinity-regulated sequences, with significant changes defined as a deviation from the control exceeding 2.5-fold. Responses of transcripts showed stress-dependent expression patterns and time courses. Nearly 15% of all transcripts were either up- or down-regulated under drought stress, while NaCl led to a change in 5% of the transcripts (24 h, 150 mM NaCl). Transcripts that showed significant up-regulation under drought stress are exemplified by jasmonate-responsive, metallothionein-like, late-embryogenesis-abundant (LEA) and ABA-responsive proteins. Most drastic down-regulation in a category was observed for photosynthesis-related functions. Up-regulation under both drought and salt stress was restricted to ESTs for metallothionein-like and LEA proteins, while increases in ubiquitin-related transcripts characterized salt stress. A number of functionally unknown transcripts from cDNA libraries of drought-stressed plants showed up-regulation by drought but down-regulation by salt stress, documenting how precisely transcript profiles report different growth conditions and environments.