Symbiotic associations accompanied by gene exchange between the symbionts form the phylogenetic origin of eukaryotic cells and, therefore, had significant impact on species diversity and evolutionary novelty. Among the phylogenetically oldest metazoan animals known to form symbiotic relationships are the Cnidaria. In the Cnidarian Hydra viridis, symbiotic algae of the genus Chlorella are located in endodermal epithelial cells and impact sexual differentiation. When screening for Hydra viridis genes that are differentially expressed during symbiosis, we found a gene, HvAPX1, coding for a plant-related ascorbate peroxidase. HvAPX1 is expressed exclusively during oogenesis and in contrast to all known ascorbate peroxidase genes in plants does not contain introns. No member of this gene family has previously been identified from a member of the animal kingdom. We discuss the origin of the HvAPX1 gene and propose that it may have been transferred horizontally following an endosymbiotic event early in evolution of the Hydra lineage as an RNA or cDNA intermediate.