To examine the biological role of Al-stress-induced genes, nine genes derived from Arabidopsis, tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) were expressed in Arabidopsis ecotype Landsberg. Lines containing eight of these genes were phenotypically normal and were tested in root elongation assays for their sensitivity to Al, Cd, Cu, Na, Zn, and to oxidative stresses. An Arabidopsis blue-copper-binding protein gene (AtBCB), a tobacco glutathione S-transferase gene (parB), a tobacco peroxidase gene (NtPox), and a tobacco GDP-dissociation inhibitor gene (NtGDI1) conferred a degree of resistance to Al. Two of these genes, AtBCB and parB, and a peroxidase gene from Arabidopsis (AtPox) also showed increased resistance to oxidative stress induced by diamide, while parB conferred resistance to Cu and Na. Al content of Al-treated root tips was reduced in the four Al-resistant plant lines compared with wild-type Ler-0, as judged by morin staining. All four Al-resistant lines also showed reduced staining of roots with 2',7'-dichloro fluorescein diacetate (H(2)DCFDA), an indicator of oxidative stress. We conclude that Al-induced genes can serve to protect against Al toxicity, and also provide genetic evidence for a link between Al stress and oxidative stress in plants.