We studied copper uptake in inside-out plasma membrane vesicles derived from roots of copper-sensitive, moderately copper-tolerant and highly copper-tolerant populations of Silene vulgaris (Amsterdam, Marsberg and Imsbach, respectively). Plasma membrane vesicles were isolated using the two-phase partitioning method and copper efflux was measured using direct filtration experiments. Vesicles derived from Imsbach plants accumulated two and three times more copper than those derived from Marsberg and Amsterdam plants, respectively. This accumulation was ATP-dependent. Also, 9-amino-6-chloro-2-methoxyacridine fluorescence quenching rates upon copper addition decreased in the order Imsbach>Marsberg>Amsterdam. Our results support the hypothesis that efflux of copper across the root plasma membrane plays a role in the copper tolerance mechanism in S. vulgaris.