A monoclonal antibody (LM8) was generated with specificity for xyloglacturonan (XGA) isolated from pea (Pisum sativum L.) testae. Characterization of the LM8 epitope indicates that it is a region of XGA that is highly substituted with xylose. Immunocytochemical analysis indicates that this epitope is restricted to loosely attached inner parenchyma cells at the inner face of the pea testa and does not occur in other cells of the testa. Elsewhere in the pea seedling, the LM8 epitope was found only in association with root cap cell development at the root apex. Furthermore, the LM8 epitope is specifically associated with root cap cells in a range of angiosperm species. In embryogenic carrot suspension cell cultures the epitope is abundant at the surface of cell walls of loosely attached cells in both induced and non-induced cultures. The LM8 epitope is the first cell wall epitope to be identified that is specifically associated with a plant cell separation process that results in complete cell detachment.