An NADPH oxidase analogous to that in mammalian phagocytes has been hypothesized to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the plant defence response. A. thaliana contains at least six gp91phox homologues, designated AtrbohA-F (A. thaliana Respiratory Burst Oxidase Homologues), which map to different positions. Transcripts of three of these genes can be detected in healthy plants by RNA gel blot analyses. The Atrboh gene products are closely related to gp91phox and the intron locations suggest a common evolutionary origin. A putative EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding motif in the extended N-terminal region of the Atrboh proteins suggests a direct regulatory effect of Ca2+ on the activity of the NADPH oxidase in plants.