The Arabidopsis genome contains nine open reading frames with homology to members of the peroxiredoxin (prx) family: one 1-Cys-prx, two 2-Cys-prx, five type II-prx, and one peroxiredoxin Q. The function of the peroxiredoxins in plant metabolism is only slowly emerging. They are assumed to reduce toxic peroxides to their corresponding alcohols with a rather broad substrate specificity. The 2-Cys peroxiredoxins (2-CP) were recently identified as members of the antioxidant defence system of chloroplasts. Knock-out mutants of Synechocystis and antisense mutants of Arabidopsis have provided insight into the function of 2-CPs in the photosynthetic antioxidant network. This review summarizes present knowledge on the enzymatic mechanism, the physiological context and the genetic regulation of the 2-CPs in plants and cyanobacteria. In addition, an extrapolation on the metabolic role of the chloroplast 2-CP is attempted based on the molecular features of 2-CPs from other organisms.