Many genes in different organisms encode proteins with really interesting gene (RING) finger domain(s). The RING zinc finger domain is involved in a wide variety of functions in diverse organisms. A cDNA clone showing homology with RING zinc finger genes and nine-fold induction in response to cold was previously identified during a gene expression study in the interfertile Citrus relative Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf. In this study, the full-length cDNA of this clone was isolated from 2-day cold-acclimated P. trifoliata by a rapid amplification of cDNA ends method using gene-specific primers. The full-length cDNA was 956 bp containing a complete open reading frame of 474 bp encoding a polypeptide of 158 amino acids. The full-length cDNA showed a high level of homology with genes encoding putative RING zinc finger proteins in plants. The deduced amino acid sequence of this gene contained a signature sequence motif for a RING zinc finger close to the C terminus of the protein. The RING zinc finger domain was significantly similar to previously characterized RING zinc finger proteins from different organisms. Additionally, it had a histidine residue at the fifth co-ordination site, indicating that this gene encodes a RING-H2 finger protein. Northern blot hybridization showed that the expression of the RING finger gene was induced in response to cold in cold-hardy P. trifoliata but not to the same extent in cold-sensitive Citrus grandis L. Osb. (pummelo). However, the gene was induced by drought stress similarly in both the species. To our knowledge, this study presents the first isolation of the full-length sequence of a RING zinc finger gene induced in response to abiotic stress in plants and the initial characterization of this gene in Citrus.