The biochemical pathway of stachyose synthesis was localized by immunocytochemical and (14)C-labeling techniques in mature Cucurbita pepo L. leaves. Galactinol synthase (GaS; EC 126.96.36.199), the first unique enzyme in this pathway, was immunolocalized within the intermediary cells of minor veins in conventionally fixed and cryo-fixed, resin-embedded sections using polyclonal anti-GaS antibodies and protein A-gold. Intermediary cells are specialized companion cells with extensive symplastic connections to the bundle sheath. Gold particles were not seen over the non-specialized companion cells of larger veins or over intermediary cells in young leaves prior to the sink-source transition. In another approach to localization, radiolabel was measured in isolated mesophyll tissue and whole tissue of leaves that were lyophilized following a 90-s exposure to (14)CO2. Mesophyll, obtained by abrasion of the leaf surface, contained labeled sucrose, galactinol, raffinose and stachyose. However, the latter three labeled compounds constituted a smaller proportion of the neutral fraction than in whole-tissue samples, which also contained minor veins. We conclude that synthesis of galactinol, raffinose, and stachyose occurs in both mesophyll and intermediary cells, predominantly the latter.