In order to study the expression in plants of the rolD promoter of Agrobacterium rhizogenes, we have constructed chimaeric genes placing the coding region of the gusA (uidA) marker gene under control of two rolD promoter fragments of different length. Similar results were obtained with both genes. Expression studies were carried out in transformed R1 progeny plants. In mature transformed tobacco plants, the rolD-gus genes were expressed strongly in roots, and to much lower levels in stems and leaves. This pattern of expression was transmitted to progeny, though the ratio of the level of expression in roots relative to that in leaves was much lower in young seedlings. The degree of root specificity in rolD-gus transformants was less than that of a gene constructed with domain A of the CaMV 35S promoter, domA-gus, but the level of root expression was much higher than with the latter gene. However, the level of expression of the rolD-gus genes was less than that of a gus gene with a 35S promoter with doubled domain B, 35S2-gus. The rolD-gus genes had a distinctive pattern of expression in roots, compared to that of the two other genes, with the strongest GUS activity observed in the root elongation zone and in vascular tissue, and much less in the root apex.