Zein accumulation patterns during mutant and normal maize endosperm development were determined. Accompanying an increase in the number of floury-2 alleles present in the endosperm was a well-defined stepwise depression in zein accumulation. Analysis of the zein accumulated in endosperms containing zero, one, two, and three doses of the floury-2 allele by sodium dodecylsulfate--polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed a proportionate reduction in the two major zein components, Z1 and Z2. In contrast, the relative proportions of the minor zein bands were altered. Membrane-bound polysomes isolated from kernels of floury-2 and normal maize were predominantly large size classes. The presence of increasing numbers of the floury-2 allele in the endosperm decreased recovery of membrane-bound polysomal material in a stepwise fashion. However, major alterations in polysome size-class distributions were not observed. The reduction in membrane-bound polysome material correlated linearly with reductions in in vitro zein synthesis and in vivo zein accumulation.