A cDNA library was created from cold-acclimated bark tissue of peach and selectively probed using an antibody directed against the lysine-rich consensus region of dehydrin proteins. Several clones were thus obtained which had a high degree of sequence similarity to other dehydrin genes. Northern analysis, using clone 5a, indicated that a 1.8 kb transcript was seasonally expressed in sibling deciduous and evergreen genotypes of peach, and also inducible by water deficit in cv. Rio Oso Gem. The evergreen and deciduous genotypes differ significantly in both their ability to cold-acclimate and in the seasonal expression of the dehydrin transcript and protein. In both genotypes, the transcript was maximally expressed during winter and undetectable in May-July. The evergreen genotype (less cold-tolerant), however, displayed transcript accumulation which lagged behind and declined sooner than in the deciduous genotype. Protein expression was similar to transcript expression, however, protein expression in the evergreen genotype lagged considerably behind transcript accumulation in the fall. This indicates that several levels of regulation of dehydrin proteins may exist during cold acclimation. A genomic clone (G10a) was isolated which contained the full-length dehydrin gene, designated ppdhn1. The peach dehydrin gene encodes 472 amino acids with a predicted size of 50,020 Da. The encoded protein (PCA60) contains nine of the lysine-rich repeats characteristic of dehydrins and two DEYGNP motifs at the amino acid terminus. A genomic blot, probed with clone 5a under stringent conditions, indicated that one or two highly homologous genes are present in peach, whereas an additional member was detected under low-stringency conditions. It is suggested that several members of the dehydrin gene family may exist in peach that vary in their relation to ppdhn1.