A 6.25 kbp barley plastid DNA region located between psbA and psbD-psbC were sequenced and RNAs produced from this DNA were analyzed. TrnK(UUU), rps16 and trnQ(UUG) were located upstream of psbA. These genes were transcribed from the same DNA strand as psbA and multiple RNAs hybridized to them. TrnK and rsp16 contained introns; a 504 amino acid open reading frame (ORF504) was located within the trnK intron. Between trnQ and psbD-psbC was a 2.24 kbp region encoding psbK, psbI and trnS(GCU). PsbK and psbI are encoded on the same DNA strand as psbD-psbC whereas trnS(GCU) is transcribed from the opposite strand. Two large RNAs accumulate in barley etioplasts which contain psbK, psbI, anti-sense trnS(GCU) and psbD-psbC sequences. Other RNAs encode psbK and psbI only, or psbK only. The divergent trnS(GCU) located upstream of psbD-psbC and a second divergent trnS(UGA) located downstream of psbD-psbC were both expressed. Furthermore, RNA complementary to psbK and psbI mRNA was detected, suggesting that transcription from divergent overlapping transcription units may modulate expression from this DNA region.