Isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) protection against effects of singlet oxygen was investigated in Myrtus communis and Rhamnus alaternus. In M. communis, singlet oxygen produced in the leaves by Rose Bengal (RB) led to a 65% decrease in net assimilation rates within 3 h, whereas isoprene emission rates showed either a 30% decrease at ambient CO2 concentrations or a 70% increase under high CO2. In both cases, these changes led to an increase in calculated internal isoprene concentrations. The isoprene protection effect was directly demonstrated by fumigation of young (non-emitting) leaves, treated with RB or bromoxynil (simulating photoinhibition). There was 42% and 29% reduction in the damage to net assimilation compared with non-fumigated leaves for RB or bromoxynil, respectively. In R. alaternus, similar effects of RB on net assimilation were observed, and additional fluorescence measurements showed a significantly smaller decrease in Fv/Fm in isoprene-fumigated young leaves treated with RB (from 0.78 to 0.52), compared with non-fumigated leaves (from 0.77 to 0.27). The internal isoprene concentrations used in this study and possible rate of 1O2 production in leaves indicate that the protective effects observed should be beneficial also under natural conditions.