The genes encoding non-specific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs), members of a small multigene family, show a complex pattern of expressional regulation, suggesting that some diversification may have resulted from changes in their expression after duplication. In this study, the evolution of nsLTP genes within the Poaceae family was characterized via a survey of the pseudogenes and unigenes encoding the nsLTP in rice pseudomolecules and the NCBI unigene database. nsLTP-rich regions were detected in the distal portions of rice chromosomes 11 and 12; these may have resulted from the most recent large segmental duplication in the rice genome. Two independent tandem duplications were shown to occur within the nsLTP-rich regions of rice. The genomic distribution of the nsLTP genes in the rice genome differs from that in wheat. This may be attributed to gene migration, chromosomal rearrangement, and/or differential gene loss. The genomic distribution pattern of nsLTP genes in the Poaceae family points to the existence of some differences among cereal nsLTP genes, all of which diverged from an ancient gene. The unigenes encoding nsLTPs in each cereal species are clustered into five groups. The somewhat different distribution of nsLTP-encoding EST clones between the groups across cereal species imply that independent duplication(s) followed by subfunctionalization (and/or neofunctionalization) of the nsLTP gene family in each species occurred during speciation.