The expression of three genes that encode proteins involved in peroxisome biogenesis, beta-oxidation and the glyoxylate cycle was studied in Arabidopsis plants by fusing their promoter regions to the reporter gene luciferase. Malate synthase showed an extremely restricted pattern of expression, being detected only in young seedlings and the root tips of older plants. PEX1 and 3-ketoacyl thiolase (PED1) were expressed in roots, mature leaves, stems and flowers. However, only thiolase was up-regulated by starvation. Immunoblotting confirmed that neither malate synthase nor the other unique glyoxylate cycle enzyme isocitrate lyase are expressed in senescent leaves. These results indicate that, in contrast to cucumber, pumpkin and barley, the glyoxylate cycle does not play a role in the recycling of carbon from the turnover of membrane lipids during senescence and starvation in Arabidopsis.