We have isolated and sequenced a MAP (mitogen-activated protein) kinase-type cDNA from a tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) cell suspension cDNA library by screening with a PCR fragment amplified from the same library with oligonucleotide primers corresponding to two sequences conserved in yeast and animal MAP kinases. The tobacco sequence, ntf3, shows 45-54% identity to various members of the MAP kinase family at the protein level. Northern experiments showed that ntf3 is expressed in all tobacco tissues tested, including pollen isolated at different developmental stages. Southern analysis indicated that, as in other organisms, there is a family of MAP kinase genes in tobacco. In complementary tests, ntf3 could not substitute the yeast MAP kinase genes fus3 and kss1.