Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a group of naturally occurring plant steroid hormones that can induce plant tolerance to various plant stresses by regulating ROS production in cells, but the underlying mechanisms of this scavenging activity by BRs are not well understood. This study investigated the effects of 28-homobrassinolide (28-HBL) seed priming on Brassica juncea seedlings subjected to the combined stress of extreme temperatures (low, 4 degrees C or high, 44 degrees C) and salinity (180 mM), either alone or supplemented with 28-HBL treatments (0, 10(-6), 10(-9), 10(-12) M). The combined temperature and salt stress treatments significantly reduced shoot and root lengths, but these improved when supplemented with 28-HBL although the response was dose-dependent. The combined stress alone significantly increased H2O2 content, but was inhibited when supplemented with 28-HBL. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APOX), glutathione reductase (GR), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) and monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) increased in response to 28-HBL. Overall, the 28-HBL seed priming treatment improved the plant's potential to combat the toxic effects imposed by the combined temperature and salt stress by tightly regulating the accumulation of ROS, which was reflected in the improved redox state of antioxidants.