A fast and efficient method for the isolation of RNA from plant tissues is described. Tuber tissue is homogenized in a guanidine hydrochloride-containing buffer followed by direct extraction with phenol/chloroform. The RNA is precipitated from the aqueous phase, washed with 3 M sodium acetate and 70% ethanol, and finally dissolved in water. The yield of RNA is up to 500 micrograms/g of tissue and several tests indicate intact and nondegraded RNA. This method can be adapted to a small-scale version by the use of 1.5-ml tubes, allowing rapid isolation of RNA from a larger number of samples. Finally, this method is of particular use for isolating RNA from tissues with a high polysaccharide and nuclease content such as wounded potato tubers.