The enzymatic synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) from indole by an in vitro preparation from maize (Zea mays L.) that does not use tryptophan (Trp) as an intermediate is described. Light-grown seedlings of normal maize and the maize mutant orange pericarp were shown to contain the necessary enzymes to convert [14C]indole to IAA. The reaction was not inhibited by unlabeled Trp and neither [14C]Trp nor [14C]serine substituted for [14C]indole in this in vitro system. The reaction had a pH optimum greater than 8.0, required a reducing environment, and had an oxidation potential near that of ascorbate. The results obtained with this in vitro enzyme preparation provide strong, additional evidence for the presence of a Trp-independent IAA biosynthesis pathway in plants.