We report the isolation of dehydrin-like genes (dhns) from cold-acclimated (4C) leaves of black currant cv. Ben Lomond plants using RT-PCR with a guessmer primer based on known dehydrin DNA sequences. Several Dhn-like c-DNAs from R. nigrum were isolated and one (b8) with an internal lysine-rich coding sequence (K segment) was chosen for further characterization. Northern analysis conclusively demonstrated that b8 was chill-induced in vegetative tissues of R. nigrum (no transcripts could be detected at normal growth temperature). The cold induction of dhns was confirmed at the protein level using a polyclonal antibody immunoreactive to the K segments in DHNs.