The effects of salicylic acid (SA) and cold on apoplastic protein levels and activities of apoplastic catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POX) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) were investigated in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Dogu-88) leaves. The plants were grown with and without 10 mu M SA treatment at both control (20/18 degrees C for 30 and 45-day) and cold (10/5 degrees C for 30-day and 5/3 degrees C for 45-day) acclimatisations. Molecular masses of the apoplastic polypeptides were shown ranging in size from 20 to 66 kDa on SDS-PAGE. Accumulation and pattern of the polypeptides were changed by both SA and cold. It is observed that CAT, POX and PPO activities at 45-day control leaves were higher than at 30-day. When the activities with SA and cold treatments are compared to their controls, CAT activities were decreased while POX and PPO activities were increased by both the treatments. When the activities with cold + SA treatment are compared to their cold treatments, CAT and POX activities were decreased while PPO activity was increased by SA. It is concluded that exogenous SA can be involved in cold tolerance by regulating apoplastic proteins and antioxidant enzyme activities. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.