A cDNA clone encoding the glyoxysomal malate synthase (EC was identified by immunoscreening of a cDNA expression library constructed from poly(A)-rich RNA of etiolated pumpkin cotyledons. Determination of the DNA sequence of the 1979-nucleotide cDNA revealed a 1698-nucleotide open reading frame that encodes a polypeptide of 64632 Da. The identification of the cDNA for malate synthase was confirmed by matching three sequences obtained by peptide-sequence analyses of fragments generated by acid treatment of the purified enzyme. Northern blot analysis revealed that the probe hybridized to a single 2.3-kb species of mRNA species from etiolated pumpkin cotyledons which was not present in green pumpkin cotyledons. In a comparison of deduced amino acid sequences, pumpkin malate synthase was found to exhibit 83% and 48% similarity to the malate synthases from rape and Escherichia coli, respectively. Based on the amino acid sequence similarity and the hydropathy profiles of these three malate synthases, the signal for targeting the enzyme to microbodies is discussed.