In order to establish a test system for grass pollen allergy based on the use of recombinant allergens we chose timothy grass (Phleum pratense), a widely spread grass, as a model. From a lambda gt11 cDNA expression library that we had constructed from pollen RNA of timothy grass (P. pratense), we had obtained with serum IgE from a grass pollen-allergic individual 60 IgE-binding clones. By differential testing with sera from different grass pollen-allergic patients, we selected three distinct clones encoding Phl p I (group I), Phl p V (group V) and profilin from timothy grass, which when used together allowed the diagnosis of grass pollen allergy in 97 out of 98 tested grass pollen-allergic patients employing a simple plaque lift technique. This recombinant test based on plaque lifts containing allergen-beta-galactosidase fusion proteins was compared with IgE immunoblots using crude pollen protein extracts from timothy grass. Both methods were in good agreement with RAST scores and clinical data, and proofed to be useful for the diagnosis of grass pollen allergy. Our results further indicate that a limited panel of only two recombinant grass pollen allergens, Phl p I and Phl p V, together with the plant panallergen profilin could be sufficient for the diagnosis and possibly immunotherapy of grass pollen allergy.