Transgenic maize plants have been generated by particle gun bombardment that overproduce a Nicotiana plumbaginifolia L. manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). To target this mitochondrial enzyme into chloroplasts, the mature MnSOD-coding sequence was fused to a chloroplast transit peptide from a pea ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase gene, whereas expression of the chimeric gene was driven by the CaMV 35S promoter. Transgenic MnSOD activity contributed to 20% of the total SOD activity. The presence of transgenic MnSOD had clear effects on foliar tolerance to chilling and oxidative stress. The results suggest that overproduction of MnSOD in the chloroplasts increases the antioxidant capacity of the leaves.