The complexity of plant U-type small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (UsnRNPs) may represent one level at which differences in splicing between animals and plants and between monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants could be effected. The maize (monocot.) U2snRNA multigene family consists of some 25 to 40 genes which from RNA blot and RNase protection analyses produce U2snRNAs varying in both size and sequence. The first 77 nucleotides of the maize U2-27 snRNA gene are identical to U2snRNA genes of Arabidopsis (dicot.). Despite much lower sequence homology in the remaining 120 nucleotides the secondary stnicture of the RNA is conserved. The difference in splicing between monocot. and dicot. plants cannot be explained on the basis of sequence differences between monocot. and dicot. U2snRNAs in the region which may interact with intron branch point sequences.