The H2O2 byproduct of fatty acid catabolism in plant peroxisomes is removed in part by a membrane-associated antioxidant system that involves both an ascorbate peroxidase and a monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDAR). Despite descriptions of 32-kDa MDAR polypeptides in pea and castor peroxisomal membranes and cDNA sequences for several 'cytosolic' MDARs, the genetic and protein factors responsible for peroxisomal MDAR function have yet to be elucidated. Of the six MDAR polypeptides in the Arabidopsis proteome, named AtMDAR1 to AtMDAR6 in this study, 47-kDa AtMDAR1 and 54-kDa AtMDAR4 possess amino acid sequences that resemble matrix (PTS1) and membrane peroxisomal targeting signals, respectively. Epitope-tagged versions of these two MDARs and a pea 47-kDa MDAR (PsMDAR) sorted in vivo directly from the cytosol to peroxisomes in Arabidopsis and BY-2 suspension cells, whereas AtMDAR2 and AtMDAR3 accumulated in the cytosol. The PTS1-dependent sorting of AtMDAR1 and PsMDAR to peroxisomes was incomplete (inefficient?), but was improved for PsMDAR after changing its PTS1 sequence from -SKI to the canonical tripeptide -SKL. A C-terminal transmembrane domain and basic cluster of AtMDAR4 were necessary and sufficient for targeting directly to peroxisomes. MDAR activity in isolated Arabidopsis peroxisomes was distributed among both water-soluble matrix and KCl-insoluble membrane subfractions that contained respectively 47- and 54-kDa MDAR polypeptides. Notably, a 32-kDa MDAR was not identified. Combined with membrane association and topological orientation findings, these results indicate that ascorbate recycling in Arabidopsis (and probably other plant) peroxisomes is coordinated through functionally redundant MDARs that reside in the membrane and the matrix of the organelle.