ABSTRACT In many plant species, tolerance to toxic metals is highly dependent on glutathione, an essential metabolite for cellular detoxification. We evaluated the responses of glutathione metabolism to arsenite (AsIII) in Salvinia molesta, an aquatic fern that has unexplored phytoremediation potential. Plants were exposed to different AsIII concentrations in nutrient solution for 24 h. AsIII caused cell membrane damage to submerged leaves, indicating oxidative stress. There was an increase in the glutathione content and ϒ-glutamylcysteine synthetase enzyme activity in the submerged and floating leaves. The glutathione peroxidase and glutathione sulfotransferase enzymes also showed increased activity in both plant parts, whereas glutathione reductase only showed increased activity in the submerged leaves. These findings suggest an important role for glutathione in the protection of S. molesta against the toxic effects of AsIII, with more effective tolerance responses in the floating leaves.