Germin with oxalate oxidase and superoxide dismutase activity is a homohexamer of six manganese-containing interlocked [beta]-jellyroll monomers with extreme resistance to heat and proteolytic degradation [Woo, E.-J., Dunwell, J. M., Goodenough, P. W., Marvier, A. C. & Pickersill, R. W. (2000) Nat. Struct. Biol. 7, 1036-1038]. This structure is conserved in germin-like proteins (GLPs) with other enzymatic functions and characteristic for proteins deposited in plant cell walls in response to pathogen attack and abiotic stress. Comparative nucleotide and amino acid sequence analyses of 49,610 barley expressed sequence tags identified 124 germin and germin-like cDNAs, which distributed into five subfamilies designated HvGER-I to HvGER-V. Representative cDNAs for these subfamilies hybridized to 67 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones from a library containing 6.3 genomic equivalents. Twenty-six BAC clones hybridized to the subfamily IV probe and identified a gene-rich region including clone 418E1 of 96 kb encoding eight GLPs (i.e., 1 gene per 12 kb). This BAC clone lacked highly repeated sequences and mapped to the subtelomeric region of the long arm of chromosome 4(4H). Among the six genes of the contig expressed in leaves, one specifies a protein known to be associated with papilla formation in the epidermis upon powdery mildew infection. Three structural genes for oxalate oxidase are present in subfamily I and eight GLPs of various functions in the other subfamilies. These genes map at loci in chromosomes 1(7H), 2 (2H), 3(3H), 4(4H), and 7(5H). Some are present on a single BAC clone. The results are discussed in relation to cereal genome organization.