Abstract Hsp70s have been shown to play important roles in helping cells to cope with adverse environments, especially in response to temperature. In this study a novel ethephon-induced Hsp gene, designated as HbHsp70, was isolated from Hevea brasiliensis. The HbHsp70 cDNA contained a 1965 bp open reading frame encoding 655 amino acids. The deduced HbHsp70 protein showed high identities to Hsp70s from other plants. Expression studies revealed more significant accumulation of HbHsp70 transcripts in leaves and stems than in roots, barks and latex. The transcription of HbHsp70 was induced by ethephon, heat treatment and low temperature stress, whereas jasmonic acid had little effects. Recombinant HbHsp70 was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. Measuring the light scattering of luciferase (Luc) revealed that HbHsp70 prevents the aggregation of luc during high-temperature stress. In vitro experiments showed that HbHsp70 had protective functions not only against heat stress but also against chilling stress. All these data suggest that HbHsp70 may play roles in responses to heat shock and low temperature in H. brasiliensis.