cDNA clones of chimeric Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) from tobacco (TCCaMK-1 and TCCaMK-2) were isolated and characterized. The polypeptides encoded by TCCaMK-1 and TCCaMK-2 have 15 different amino acid substitutions, yet they both contain a total of 517 amino acids. Northern analysis revealed that CCaMK is expressed in a stage-specific manner during anther development. Messenger RNA was detected when tobacco bud sizes were between 0.5 cm and 1.0 cm. The appearance of mRNA coincided with meiosis and became undetectable at later stages of anther development. The reverse polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification assay using isoform-specific primers showed that both of the CCaMK mRNAs were expressed in anther with similar expression patterns. The CCaMK protein expressed in Escherichia coli showed Ca2+-dependent autophosphorylation and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent substrate phosphorylation. Calmodulin isoforms (PCM1 and PCM6) had differential effects on the regulation of autophosphorylation and substrate phosphorylation of tobacco CCaMK, but not lily CCaMK. The evolutionary tree of plant serine/threonine protein kinases revealed that calmodulin-dependent kinases form one subgroup that is distinctly different from Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) and other serine/threonine kinases in plants.