The soybean vegetative storage proteins, VSP alpha and VSP beta, are acid phosphatases that accumulate to very high levels in hypocotyls, young leaves and flowers and pods. The genes encoding the soybean VSP are activated by jasmonate, wounding, sugars and light and down regulated by phosphate and auxin. In this study, expression of an Arabidopsis thaliana gene (Atvsp) encoding a protein homologous to soybean Vsp alpha and Vsp beta, was examined and compared to expression of the soybean Vsp genes. Atvsp mRNA was present at high levels in flowers and buds and at low levels in roots, stems, leaves and siliques. Expression of Atvsp in leaves could be induced by wounding or by treatment of illuminated plants with methyl jasmonate and sucrose. Roots of plants with wounded leaves also accumulated Atvsp mRNA indicating that this gene can be regulated by a transmissible wound signal. Phosphate partially inhibited expression of Atvsp. Arabidopsis proteins of 29 and 30 kDa crossreacted with antibodies against soybean VSP. These proteins were very abundant in flowers and the proteins accumulated in leaves and roots of plants treated with methyl jasmonate. The level of these proteins in flowers was similar to the levels of soybean VSP in young soybean leaves. Overall, these data indicate that Arabidopsis Atvsp and soybean VspA/B genes are regulated similarly and that in both plants, the gene products can accumulate to high levels. This suggests that genes homologous to VspA/B may be of greater general significance than previously recognized.