Crop yield is most sensitive to water deficit during the reproductive stage. For rice, the most sensitive yield component is spikelet fertility and the most sensitive stage is immediately before heading. Here, we examined the effect of drought on the anther proteome of two rice genotypes: Moroberekan and IR64. Water was withheld for 3 d before heading (3DBH) in well watered controls for 5 d until the flag leaf relative water content (RWC) had declined to 45-50%. Plants were then re-watered and heading occurred 2-3 d later, representing a delay of 4-5 d relative to controls. The anther proteins were separated at 3 DBH, at the end of the stress period, and at heading in stressed/re-watered plants and controls by two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoresis, and 93 protein spots were affected reproducibly in abundance by drought during the experiment across two rice genotypes. After drought stress, upon re-watering, expressions of 24 protein spots were irreversible in both genotypes, 60 protein spots were irreversible in IR64 but reversible in Moroberekan, only nine protein spots were irreversible in Moroberekan while reversible in IR64. Among them, there were 14 newly drought-induced protein spots in IR64; none of them was reversible on re-watering. However, there were 13 newly drought-induced protein spots in Moroberekan, 10 of them were reversible on re-watering, including six drought-induced protein spots that were not reversed in IR64. Taken together, our proteomics data reveal that drought-tolerant genotype Moroberekan possessed better recovery capability following drought and re-watering at the anther proteome level than the drought-sensitive genotype IR64. The disruptions of drought to rice anther development and pollen cell functions are also discussed in the paper.