The glyoxysomes of growing oilseed seedlings produce H2O2, a reactive oxygen species, during the beta-oxidation of lipids stored in the cotyledons. An expression library of dark-grown cotton (Gossypium hirsutm L.) cotyledons was screened with antibodies that recognized a 31-kD glyoxysomal membrane polypeptide. A full-length cDNA clone (1258 bp) was isolated that encodes a 32-kD subunit of ascorbate peroxidase (APX) with a single, putative membrane-spanning region near the C-terminal end of the polypeptide. Internal amino acid sequence analysis of the cotton 31-kD polypeptide verified that this clone encoded this protein. This enzyme, designated gmAPX, was immunocytochemically and enzymatically localized to the glyoxysomal membrane in cotton cotyledons. The activity of monodehydroascorbate reductase, a protein that reduces monodehydroascorbate to ascorbate with NADH, also was detected in these membranes. The co-localization of gmAPX and monodehydroascorbate reductase within the glyoxysomal membrane likely reflects an essential pathway for scavenging reactive oxygen species and also provides a mechanism to regenerate NAD+ for the continued operation of the glyoxylate cycle and beta-oxidation of fatty acids. Immunological cross-reactivity of 30- to 32-kD proteins in glyoxysomal membranes of cucumber, sunflower, castor bean, and cotton indicate that gmAPX is common among oilseed species.