Two cDNA clones, pIIG1 and pIIG2, corresponding to mRNAs that accumulate in maize root tips subjected to 10 rain of physical impedance, were isolated by differential screening of a cDNA library. The deduced proteins, based on DNA sequence analysis, have molecular masses of 13 and 23 kDa for pIIG1 and pIIG2, respectively. pHG1 showed 97% similarity at the nucleic acid level to a maize root cortical cell delineating protein (pZRP3) and was also similar to some bimodular proteins that are developmentally or stress regulated in other plant species. In situ localization of pIIG1 showed some expression in cortical cells of control maize roots; however, after a 10 min physical impedance treatment, pIIG1 accumulation increased greatly in cortical cells and extended to include the procambial region. pIIG2 did not show sequence similarity with any identified gene of known function, but a bipartite nuclear targeting sequence occurs in its deduced amino acid sequence which indicates it may function in the nucleus. Thus, rapid accumulation of specific mRNAs occurs in maize roots in response to impedance stress, and these mRNAs may be responsible for some responses of the roots to physical impedance.