Trehalose and the trehalose biosynthetic pathway are important contributors and regulators of stress responses in plants. Among recent findings for trehalose and its metabolism, the role of signalling in the regulation of growth and development and its potential for use as a storage energy source can be listed. The xerophytic plant Capparis ovata (caper) is well adapted to drought and high temperature stress in arid and semi-arid regions of the Mediterranean. The contribution of trehalose and the trehalose biosynthetic pathway to drought stress responses and tolerance in C.ovata are not known. We investigated the effects of PEG-mediated drought stress in caper plants and analysed physiological parameters and trehalose biosynthetic pathway components, trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS), trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (TPP), trehalase activity, trehalose and proline content in drought stress-treated and untreated plants. Our results indicated that trehalose and the trehalose biosynthetic pathway contributed to drought stress tolerance of C.ovata. Overall growth and leaf water status were not dramatically affected by drought, as both high relative growth rate and relative water content were recorded even after 14days of drought stress. Trehalose accumulation increased in parallel to induced TPS and TPP activities and decreased trehalase activity in caper plants on day 14. Constitutive trehalose levels were 28.75 to 74.75 mu g.g.FW-1, and drought stress significantly induced trehalose accumulation (385.25 mu g.g.FW-1 on day 14) in leaves of caper. On day 14 of drought, proline levels were lower than on day 7. Under drought stress the discrepancy between trehalose and proline accumulation trends might result from the mode of action of these osmoprotectant molecules in C. ovata.