The Erysiphe graminis f.sp.. hordei (Egh) glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gpd) gene was isolated and characterized. It contains typical promoter elements and has three introns, one of which is positioned in the 5' untranslated region of the gene. The deduced aminoacid sequence has 87% similarity to gpd genes from other Ascomycete fungi. This is at the same level as previously estimated among these fungi. Comparison at the DNA level reveal similarities of only around 70%, which is 10% lower than previously reported. In an evolutionary tree based on the sequences from 18 fungal gpd genes, Egh falls into the group of Ascomycetes located at a basal position. The regulatory region of the Egh gpd gene has no homology to corresponding sequences in other filamentous Ascomycetes. Codon usage was determined for the four characterized Egh genes (tub2, Egh7, Egh16 and gpd) and found to be similar for all four genes. The results of the codon-usage analysis suggest that Egh is more flexible than other fungi in the choice of nucleotides at the wobble position. Codon-usage preferences in Egh and barley genes indicate a level of difference which may be exploited to discriminate between fungal and plant genes in sequence mixtures. The Egh gpd promoter appears to be superior to that of the Egh beta-tubulin gene (tub2) for driving the E. coli beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene in transformation experiments.