Correlatively inhibited pea shoots (Pisum sativum L.) did not transport apically applied (14)C-labelled indol-3yl-acetic acid ([(14)C]IAA), and polar IAA transport did not occur in internodal segments cut from these shoots. Polar transport in shoots and segments recovered within 24 h of removing the dominant shoot apex. Decapitation of growing shoots also resulted in the loss of polar transport in segments from internodes subtending the apex. This loss was prevented by apical applications of unlabelled IAA, or by low temperatures (approx. 2° C) after decapitation. Rates of net uptake of [(14)C]IAA by 2-mm segments cut from subordinate or decapitated shoots were the same as those in segments cut from dominant or growing shoots. In both cases net uptake was stimulated to the same extent by competing unlabelled IAA and by N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid. Uptake of the pH probe [(14)C]-5,5-dimethyloxazolidine-2,4-dione from unbuffered solutions was the same in segments from both types of shoot. Patterns of [(14)C]IAA metabolism in shoots in which polar transport had ceased were the same as those in shoots capable of polar transport. The reversible loss of polar IAA transport in these systems, therefore, was not the result of loss or inactivation of specific IAA efflux carriers, loss of ability of cells to maintain transmembrane pH gradients, or the result of a change in IAA metabolism. Furthermore, in tissues incapable of polar transport, no evidence was found for the occurrence of inhibitors of IAA uptake or efflux. Evidence is cited to support the possibility that the reversible loss of polar auxin transport is the result of a gradual randomization of effluxcarrier distribution in the plasma membrane following withdrawal of an apical auxin supply and that the recovery of polar transport involves reestablishment of effluxcarrier asymmetry under the influence of vectorial gradients in auxin concentration.