Background and Aims: Much of our understanding of the genetic control of meiosis has come from recent studies of model organisms, which have given us valuable insights into processes such as recombination and the synapsis of chromosomes. The challenge now is to determine to what extent these models are representative of other groups of organisms, and to what extent generalisations can be made as to how meiosis works. Through a comparative proteomic approach with Arabidopsis thaliana, this study describes the spatial and temporal expression of key structural and recombinogenic proteins of cereal rye (Secale cereale). Methods: Antibodies to two synaptonemal complex-associated proteins (Asy1 and Zyp1) and two recombination-related proteins (Spo11 and Rad51) of A. thaliana were bound to meiocytes throughout meiotic prophase of rye, and visualized using conventional fluorescence microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Western analysis was performed on proteins extracted from pooled prophase I anthers, as a prelude to more advanced proteomic investigations. Key Results: The four antibodies of A. thaliana reliably detected their epitopes in rye. The expression profile of Rad51 is consistent with its role in recombination. Asy1 protein is shown for the first time to cap the ends of bivalents. Western analysis reveals structural variants of the transverse filament protein Zyp1. Conclusions: Asy1 cores are assembled by elongation of early foci. The persistence of foci of Spo11 to late prophase does not fit the current model of molecular recombination. The putative structural variants of Zyp1 may indicate modification of the protein as bivalents are assembled.