The transcript levels and activities of the superoxide dismutase isoenzyme (Cu/ZnSOD) were assessed in winter (Tarm-92) and spring (Zafer-160) barley cultivars during cold acclimation, freezing stress and after rewarming. Leaf Cu/ZnSOD activity and Cu/ZnSOD expression level were not significantly changed during cold acclimation. The Cu/ZnSOD expression increased evidently at mild freezing stress (-3 A degrees C; F1), while Cu/ZnSOD1 activity did not show any response and Cu/ZnSOD2 activity decreased continuously during F1 and F2 (-7 A degrees C) in Tarm-92. On the other hand, root Cu/ZnSOD2 activity was in accordance with Cu/ZnSOD expression in Zafer-160 after F2 treatment. Rewarming periods did not cause any significant changes in the Cu/ZnSOD activity and expression of Cu/ZnSOD in both cultivars when compared to freezing stresses. These results showed that freezing stress can regulate differently Cu/ZnSOD transcription and enzyme activity.