To investigate the regulation of gene expression during male gametophyte development, we analyzed the promoter activity of two different genes (LAT52 and LAT59) from tomato, isolated on the basis of their anther-specific expression. In transgenic tomato, tobacco and Arabidopsis plants containing the LAT52 promoter region fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene, GUS activity was restricted to pollen. Transgenic tomato, tobacco and Arabidopsis plants containing the LAT59 promoter region fused to GUS also showed very high levels of GUS activity in pollen. However, low levels of expression of the LAT59 promoter construct were also detected in seeds and roots. With both constructs, the appearance of GUS activity in developing anthers was correlated with the onset of microspore mitosis and increased progressively until anthesis (pollen shed). Our results demonstrate co-ordinate regulation of the LAT52 and LAT59 promoters in developing microspores and suggest that the mechanisms that regulate pollen-specific gene expression are evolutionarily conserved.