Two novel myb-like genes (atmyb6 and atmyb7) were isolated from an Arabidopsis thaliana cDNA library. The entire proteins or the Myb domains encoded by the genes were expressed as fusion proteins in Escherichia coli. The DNA-binding domain of the murine c-Myb was also expressed in the same way for use in comparative studies. The fusion proteins were examined for their DNA-binding activity using the animal c-Myb DNA-binding site (MBS) and the binding site of the maize P gene product (PBS). The Myb domain of Atmyb6 bound to PBS more efficiently than to MBS. Complete Atmyb6 and Atmyb7 proteins preferentially bound to PBS but not MBS. This suggests that the in vitro binding consensus sequences for both Atmyb6 and Atmyb7 are similar to PBS. The binding of the Myb domain of Atmyb6 to both PBS and MBS raises the possibility that the protein recognizes multiple sequences in vivo. The third alpha-helix and three adjacent amino acids in the third repeat (R3) of c-Myb was replaced with the analogous sequence of Atmyb6 to create a chimeric Myb protein. This chimeric protein bound to PBS with a low affinity but failed to bind to MBS. Thus the binding pattern of the chimeric Myb protein is similar to that of the Atmyb6. This result suggests that the last 20 amino acids in the R3 repeat of Atmyb6 play a major role in DNA-binding.