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Modification of histone proteins is associated with chromatin accessibility which profound epigenetic effect on DNA transcription, repair and replication. The SET domain proteins are recognized as regulating gene expression through lysine residues of histione methylation. Previous reports classified the SET domain proteins for 5 classes and 19 groups. In this study, we identified 15 barley SET domain gene and clearly organized these putative SET domain unigenes into 5 classes and 12 groups. Comparative analysis of SET domain genes from barley, maize and rice suggested that the extensive gene duplications occurred in the evolution of grass genomes.