We report the cloning and nucleotide sequence analysis ofpsbD/C operon from a dicotyledonous tree species,Populus deltoides (poplar). The coding regions ofpsbD andpsbC and deduced amino acid sequences show very high homology with those from other higher plants. In pairwise alignment of the gene sequences,P. deltoides clustered with dicotyledonous annuals rather than withPinus, the only other tree whosepsbD/C nucleotide sequence is available. Comparison of several reported sequences showed that synonymous substitutions were distributed in bothpsbD andpsbC uniformly, throughout the length of the genes. The frequency of nonsynonymous substitutions located in the amino-terminal endof psbD was distinctly higher, suggesting a lower degree of structural constraints in this region of the encoded D2 protein. The arrangement of reading frames and Northern analysis suggest that organization and expression ofpsbD/C operon inP. deltoides is similar to that in other higher plants.