A carrier for the uptake of abscisic acid (ABA) is present in the tips and elongating zones of primary roots of both leguminous (runner bean, French bean, pea) and non-leguminous (sunflower, maize) seedlings. No ABA carrier was present in more mature root regions. For indole-3-acetic acid both carrier-mediated uptake and a 2,3,5-triiodobenzoate-sensitive efflux component are present in growing and in non-elongating runner-bean root tissues. Both ABA and indole-3-acetic acid carriers were inactivated by protein-modifying reagents. The driving forces for the carrier systems were studied using reagents, (KCl, fusicoccin, vanadate, dicyclohexylcarbodiimide, proton ionophores and azide) known to modify transmembrane pH (ΔpH) and electricla gradients (ΔE) and whose effects were independently monitored using radiolabelled, lipophilic, weak acids as probes. For abscisic acid the carrier-mediated uptake depend on ΔpH and the nonsaturable component of uptake, due to diffusion of undissociated ABA. The maximum velocity of the carrier is greater at pH 4 than at pH 5, although the Michaelis constants are similar. Modification of ΔE did not alter ABA net uptake but effects on the indole-3-acetic acid system consistent with perturbation of an electrogenic 2,3,5-triiodobenzoate-sensitive component were observed. It is suggested that the ABA carrier is an ABA anion/hydrogen ion symport or, less likely, represents facilitated diffusion of undissociated ABA.