A full-length cDNA clone (HvAPX1) encoding a peroxisomal type ascorbate peroxidase was isolated from barley (Hordeum vulgare cv. Haruna-nijyo) leaves by differential display. The deduced amino acid sequence of the HvAPX1 gene had 75.3% homology to that from the Gossypium hirsutum glyoxysomal APX gene and 72.1% homology to that from the Arabidopsis thaliana peroxisomal APX gene, APX3. Southern blot analysis indicated that a single-copy gene in the barley genome encoded HvAPX1. Northern blot analysis showed that the HvAPX1 transcript increased remarkably in response to heat, salt and abscisic acid treatment. Induction was not caused by treatment with hydrogen peroxide. The HvAPX1 gene was introduced into A. thaliana under control of the 35S RNA promoter of the cauliflower mosaic virus. The transgenic plants were significantly more tolerant to heat stress as compared with the wild-type.