In this paper we present the structural analysis of two tightly linked genes from the glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene family in carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus). Southern blot analysis and restriction endonuclease mapping revealed a single cloned region of the carnation genome was highly homologous to the previously characterized ethylene-responsive GST mRNA expressed in flower petals during senescence. Nucleotide sequencing of this region revealed the presence of two tandemly arranged genes designated GST1 and GST2. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of the cloned genomic region with the previously characterized GST cDNA clone pSR8 revealed that GST1 contains the entire transcription unit in 10 exons interrupted by 9 introns. The transcription unit of GST2 was found to be very similar to GST1 with complete conservation of intron position. In addition, the length and nucleotide sequences of the two genes' introns were highly conserved. GST2 was not completely represented by the cloned genomic region, missing the 3' portion of the transcription unit. Primer extension analysis indicated a single transcriptional start site for transcripts which accumulate in senescing carnation petals. The 5'-flanking sequences of GST1 and GST2 were compared and regions of homology and divergence identified. These upstream sequences were compared with other plant ethylene-responsive genes and GST genes and several sequence motifs of potential importance in the regulation of GST expression were identified. A chimeric gene constructed between -1457 bp of the 5'-flanking DNA of GST1 and the coding region of beta-glucuronidase was found to confer ethylene-inducible expression in flower petals following delivery of the construct into tissue by particle bombardment.