We have examined the arrangement and movement of three major compartments, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mitochondria, and the vacuole during oscillatory, polarized growth in lily pollen tubes. These movements are dependent on the actin cytoskeleton, because they are strongly perturbed by the anti-microfilament drug, latrunculin-B, and unaffected by the anti-microtubule agent, oryzalin. The ER, which has been labeled with mGFP5-HDEL or cytochalasin D tetramethylrhodamine, displays an oscillatory motion in the pollen tube apex. First it moves apically in the cortical region, presumably along the cortical actin fringe, and then periodically folds inward creating a platform that transects the apical domain in a plate-like structure. Finally, the ER reverses its direction and moves basipetally through the central core of the pollen tube. When subjected to cross-correlation analysis, the formation of the platform precedes maximal growth rates by an average of 3 s (35-40 degrees ). Mitochondria, labeled with Mitotracker Green, are enriched in the subapical region, and their movement closely resembles that of the ER. The vacuole, labeled with carboxy-dichlorofluorescein diacetate, consists of thin tubules arranged longitudinally in a reticulate network, which undergoes active motion. In contrast to the mitochondria and ER, the vacuole is located back from the apex, and never extends into the apical clear zone. We have not been able to decipher an oscillatory pattern in vacuole motion. Because this motion is dependent on actin and not tubulin, we think this is due to a different myosin from that which drives the ER and mitochondria.