12-Oxo-phytodienoic acid reductase, an enzyme of the biosynthetic pathway that converts linolenic acid to jasmonic acid, has been characterized from the kernel and seedlings of corn (Zea mays L.). The molecular weight of the enzyme, estimated by gel filtration, was 54,000. Optimum enzyme activity was observed over a broad pH range, from pH 6.8 to 9.0. The enzyme had a Km of 190 micromolar for its substrate, 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid. The preferred reductant was NADPH, for which the enzyme exhibited a Km of 13 micromolar, compared with 4.2 millimolar for NADH. Reductase activity was low in the corn kernel but increased five-fold by the fifth day after germination and then gradually declined.