C4 photosynthesis is functionally dependent on metabolic interactions between mesophyll- and bundle-sheath cells. Although the C4 cycle is biochemically well understood, many aspects of the regulation of enzyme activities, gene expression and cell differentiation are elusive. Protein kinases are likely involved in these regulatory processes, providing links to hormonal, metabolic and developmental signal-transduction pathways. Here we describe the cloning and characterization of 14 different putative protein kinase leaf cDNA clones from the C4 plant Sorghum bicolor. These genes belong to three different protein kinase subfamilies: ribosomal protein S6 kinases, SNF1-like protein kinases, and receptor-like protein kinases. We report the partial cDNA sequences, mesophyll/bundle-sheath steady-state mRNA ratios, mesophyll/etiolated leaf steady-state mRNA ratios, and the positions of 14 protein kinase genes on the genetic map of S. bicolor. Only three of the protein kinase genes described here are expressed preferentially in mesophyll cells as compared with the bundle-sheath.