The pistil of flowers is a specialized organ which contains the female gametophytes and provides the structures necessary for pollination and fertilization. Pollen deposited on the stigmatic surface of a compatible plant germinates a pollen tube which penetrates the stigmatic papillae and grows intercellularly through the style towards the ovules in the ovary. Pollen tube growth is largely restricted to the transmitting tissue in the style. Therefore the stylar transmitting tissue is extremely important for the migration of the pollen cell towards the ovary. We have isolated two related cDNAs, transmitting tissue-specific (TTS)-1 and TTS-2, derived from two proline-rich protein (PRP)-encoding mRNAs that accumulate specifically in the transmitting tissue of tobacco. The deduced PRP sequences share similarities with proline-rich cell wall glycoproteins found in a variety of plants. TTS-1 and TTS-2 mRNAs are induced in very young floral buds, accumulate most abundantly during the later stages of flower development when style elongation is the most rapid, and remain at relatively high levels at anthesis. These mRNAs become undetectable in maturing green fruits. In situ hybridization shows that TTS-1 and TTS-2 mRNA accumulation is restricted to the transmitting tissue of the style. The possible roles that these transmitting tissue-specific PRPs may play in maintaining the structural integrity of the style or in the function of this organ is discussed.