Cyclins are regulatory proteins that interact with cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) to control progression through the cell cycle. In Arabidopsis thaliana, 34 cyclin genes have been described, grouped into five different types (A, B, D, H, and T). A novel class of seven cyclins was isolated and characterized in Arabidopsis, designated P-type cyclins (CYCPs). They all share a conserved central region of 100 amino acids ("cyclin box") displaying homology to the corresponding region of the PHO80 cyclin from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the related G1 cyclins from Trypanosoma cruzi and T. brucei. The CYCP4;2 gene was able to partially re-establish the phosphate-dependent expression of the PHO5 gene in a pho80 mutant strain of yeast. The CYCPs interact preferentially with CDKA;1 in vivo and in vitro as shown by yeast two-hybrid analysis and co-immunoprecipitation experiments. P-type cyclins were mostly expressed in proliferating cells, albeit also in differentiating and mature tissues. The possible role of CYCPs in linking cell division, cell differentiation, and the nutritional status of the cell is discussed.