Molecular chaperones have long been understood to be preferentially transcribed in response to multiple perturbations of the cellular homeostasis. In this study, several polymorphisms in the gene encoding the inducible form of the cytoplasmic Hsp90 (HSP90AA1) were addressed in 24 sheep breeds reared in different climatic regions of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Significant differences in the genotype frequencies for a C/G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) located at position -660 in the HSP90AA1 5'flanking region were found between the different breeds. Regression analyses reflected significant correlations (from 0.41 to 0.62) between the alternative genotypes of this polymorphism and several climatic and geographic variables characteristic of the regions where these breeds are reared. Real-time analysis revealed that animals bearing the CC(-660) genotype presented higher expression levels than those presenting the CG(-660) or GG(-660) in summer, but not in spring. Mutation at -660 site seems to affect HSP90AA1 transcription rates which could have important effects on the adaptation to different environmental conditions in sheep. Thus, the variability found in the genotype frequencies for the SNP at -660 in the ovine HSP90AA1 locus could be the result of the different environmental pressures occurring in the regions where these breed are maintained.