Stress conditions generate an extra load on protein folding machinery in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and if the ER cannot overcome this load, unfolded proteins accumulate in the ER lumen, causing ER stress. ER lumen localised protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) catalyses the generation of disulfide bonds in conjugation with ER oxidoreductase1 (ERO1) during protein folding. Mismatched disulfide bonds are reduced by the conversion of GSH to GSSG. Under prolonged ER stress, GSH pool is oxidised and H2O2 is produced via increased activity of PDI-ERO1. However, it is not known how glutathione metabolism is regulated under ER stress in plants. So, in this study, ER stress was induced with tunicamycin (0.15, 0.3, 0.45 mu g mL(-1) Tm) in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Glutathione content was increased by ER stress, which was accompanied by induction of glutathione biosynthesis genes (GSH1, GSH2). Also, the apoplastic glutathione degradation pathway (GGT1) was induced. Further, the activities of glutathione reductase (GR), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) were increased under ER stress. Results also showed that chloroplastic GPX genes were specifically downregulated with ER stress. This is the first report on regulation of glutathione metabolism and glutathione related enzymes in response to ER stress in plants.