The localization of cytokinins in corn root tips was investigated using antibodies or antibody fragments directed against dihydrozeatin riboside and labeled with rhodamine or colloidal gold. Roots were sectioned at -30 degrees to -40 degrees for immunofluorescence or freeze-substituted in ethanol or acetone and embedded in plastic for electron microscopy. Meristematic cells surrounding the quiescent center as well as root cap cells were specifically labeled using direct immunofluorescence techniques, whereas cells of the quiescent center did not bind label. Tissue sections treated with colloidal gold-labeled antibody fragments had gold particles widely distributed in the cytoplasm. The results show that the quiescent center is not the major site of cytokinin localization in root tips.