The distribution of diamines, polyamines, and their biosynthetic enzymes arginine decarboxylase and ornithine decarboxylase in roots and coleoptiles of corn (Zea mays var Golden Cross Bantam) seedlings have been determined. Putrescine content, expressed on either a fresh weight or protein basis, increases from the tip to the base in both roots and coleoptiles. In roots, this gradient is paralleled by an activity gradient of arginine and ornithine decarboxylases. Spermidine is distributed equally along the length of coleoptiles; in roots, this is true only on a protein basis. Free spermine is detectable only in the root tip, but a bound form is present throughout the root and coleoptile. The results are compared with gradients in protein and DNA content and discussed in relation to the possible cellular roles of polyamines.