The fluence-response curves were measured for phototropic curvature in response to unilateral 450-nm light in hypocotyls of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. These show the classical "first positive" (peak curvature of 9-10°), "indifferent" and "second positive" phototropic response. Reciprocity is valid only for the "first positive" response; the fluence requirements for its induction are similar to those for induction of the "first positive" phototropic response of coleoptiles. Large angles of curvature also may be induced by multiple pulses if the individual pulses are separated by an optimum dark period of about 15 min. The curvature induced by a given fluence, whether applied in continuous irradiation or a sequence of pulses, is a linear function of the duration of continuous irradiation or the duration between first and last pulse, respectively. For a given fluence applied in a sequence of pulses, reciprocity remains valid provided the duration between first and last exposure is kept constant. When the duration between first and last pulse is sufficiently long, the fluence required for high phototropic curvature falls in the "first positive" fluence range. These results are interpreted to indicate the existence of a kinetic limitation in the transduction sequence, and a relatively short lifetime of an initial physiologically active photoproduct. The apparent existence of more than one positive response may have resulted from these characteristics of the transduction sequence.