The response of the antioxidant system to salt stress was studied in the roots of the cultivated tomato Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. M82 (Lem) and its wild salt-tolerant relative L. pennellii (Corr.) D'Arcy accession Atico (Lpa). Roots of control and salt (100 mM NaCl)-stressed plants were sampled at various times after commencement of salinization. A gradual increase in the membrane lipid peroxidation in salt-stressed root of Lem was accompanied with decreased activities of the antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase (SOD; EC 188.8.131.52), catalase (CAT; EC 184.108.40.206), ascorbate peroxidase (APX; EC 220.127.116.11) and decreased contents of the antioxidants ascorbate and glutathione and their redox states. In contrast, increased activities of the SOD, CAT, APX, monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR; EC 18.104.22.168), and increased contents of the reduced forms of ascorbate and glutathione and their redox states were found in salt-stressed roots of Lpa, in which the level of membrane lipid peroxidation remained unchanged. It seems that the better protection of Lpa roots from salt-induced oxidative damage results, at least partially, from the increased activity of their antioxidative system.