Dehydroascorbate reductase (EC 126.96.36.199) is a crucial enzyme actively involved in the recycling of ascorbate redox pool in the cellular environment. In this study, the full-length cDNA coding for DHAR polypeptide and its corresponding gene was isolated from Pennisetum glaucum (PgDHAR). PgDHAR encodes a polypeptide of 213 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 23.4 kDa and shares 80-75 % sequence homology with DHAR from other plants. The heterologously expressed recombinant PgDHAR protein exhibited activity in a wide range of substrate concentrations. The recombinant PgDHAR is thermostable and retains its activity over a broad pH range. Furthermore, transcript level of PgDHAR is quantitatively up-regulated in response to temperature. On the whole, PgDHAR alone or in combination with other genes of ascorbate-glutathione cycle can be used for the development of stress tolerant as well as nutritionally improved food crop with enhanced ascorbic acid content.