A transplantable methylcholanthrene-induced fibrosarcoma of female BALB/c mice (the MC-2 fibrosarcoma) was dissociated by combined mechanical and enzymatic means, then fractionated by isopycnic centrifugation in linear albumin gradients. In some experiments recovered cells were both cultured in soft nutrietn agar and inoculated subcutaneously into syngeneic recipients. In these experiments a highly significant correlation was observed between subsequtnt colony number and rapid growth phase tumor size suggesting identity of clonigenic and tumorigenic cells. It was consistently found that clonigenic cells were markedly depleted from the low density extremes of the cell density distribution profiles suggesting that the low density neoplastic cells had irreversibly left the growth fraction. With increasing tumor age, sequential studies showed that both total and clonigenic cell density distribution profiles were variable, showing no obvious trend, suggesting that in the age (13-35 days) and size (2-8 g) range studied growth fraction changes had little selective effect on cells of any specific density. These results imply that a marked selective depletion of low density clonigenic cells (or selective accumulation of low density non-proliferative cells) must mainly occur during an earlier phase of tumor growth. Studies on several other murine solid tumors also showed maximal depletion of clonigenic cells from the least dense fractions, suggesting that this situation may be common.