To form the building blocks of isoprenoids, isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) isomerase activity, which converts IPP to dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP), appears to be necessary in cytosol, plastids, and mitochondria. Arabidopsis thaliana contains only two IPP isomerases (Isopentenyl Diphosphate Isomerase1 [IDI1] and IDI2). Both encode proteins with N-terminal extensions similar to transit peptides and are expressed in all organs, with IDI1 less abundant than IDI2. Examination of enhanced green fluorescent protein fusions established that IDI1 is mainly in the plastid, whereas IDI2 is mainly in the mitochondria. Both proteins are also in the cytosol as a result of their translation from naturally occurring shorter transcripts lacking transit peptides, as demonstrated by 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends cloning. IPP isomerase activity in the cytosol was confirmed by uniform labeling of IPP- and DMAPP-derived units of the cytoplasmic isoprenoid product, sitosterol, when labeled mevalonate was administered. Analysis of mutant lines showed that double mutants were nonviable, while homozygous single mutants had no major morphological or chemical differences from the wild type except for flowers with fused sepals and underdeveloped petals on idi2 mutants. Thus, each of the two Arabidopsis IPP isomerases is found in multiple but partially overlapping subcellular locations, and each can compensate for the loss of the other through partial redundancy in the cytosol.