The full-length nucleotide sequence of a barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) leaf mRNA, found to increase rapidly in amount during infection attempts by the powdery mildew fungus (Erysiphe graminis DC. ex Mérat), is reported. The mRNA encodes a polypeptide of 809 amino acid residues which, by sequence comparison, was identified as a member of the 90 kDa heat shock protein (HSP90) family. The encoded protein most resembles the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident HSP90 protein, the 94 kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP94) of vertebrates, as it possesses both the characteristic N-terminal domain including a signal peptide sequence and the C-terminal ER retention signal (Lys-Asp-Glu-Leu). A transcript cross-hybridizing at high stringency accumulated rapidly in leaves upon heat shock treatment. Genomic DNA blot analysis indicated the presence of a family of related genes in the barley genome.