In order to clarify the mechanism underlying the polar auxin transport system, the pis1 mutant in Arabidopsis thaliana that is hypersensitive to N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA), an auxin transport inhibitor was isolated and characterized. Whereas the pis1 mutant is normally sensitive to phytohormones, auxins, cytokinin and ethylene precursor, this mutant is hypersensitive to NPA over the broad spectrum of its effects such as growth of seedlings, root elongation, root gravitropism, root phototropism and root curling. This result indicates that the pis1 mutant is specifically affected in the polar auxin transport system. This result also defines a genetic factor controlling both gravitropism and phototropism, and strongly indicates the involvement of auxin transport during both tropic responses. NPA, 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA) and 9-hydroxyfluorene-9-carboxylic acid (HFCA) represent different classes of auxin transport inhibitors. The pis1 mutation conferred hypersensitivity to both NPA and TIBA but not to HFCA. These results show the genetic separation of the actions of NPA/TIBA and of HFCA. The PIS1 gene product might be specifically involved in the response pathway of NPA/TIBA, leading to interference with auxin-efflux carriers, and might act as a negative regulator of the action of NPA/TIBA.