Ubiquitin (Ub) is regarded as a stress protein involved in many stress responses. In this paper, sense and antisense transgenic tobacco plants, as well as the wild type and vector control, were used to study the role of Ub in salt tolerance of plants. In sense Ta-Ub2 transgenic tobacco plants, there was higher expression of Ub protein conjugates than in the wild type and vector control, but the reverse trend was observed in antisense Nt-Ub1 transgenic plants. The germination rate of tobacco seed, growth status and photosynthesis of the tobacco plants suggested that over-expressing Ub promoted the growth of transgenic tobacco plants and enhanced their salt tolerance, but the opposite effect was seen in plants with repressed Ub expression. Changes in antioxidant capacity may be one of the mechanisms underlying Ub-regulated salt tolerance. Furthermore, improved tolerance to a combination of stresses was also observed in the sense transgenic tobacco plants. These findings imply that Ub is involved in the tolerance of plants to abiotic stress.