Quantitative analysis of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) using selected ion monitoring gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) with 13C61benzene ringj-IAA as the internal standard was used to compare the quantitative accuracy of commercial enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Plant materials differed in the amount of purification required prior to use of ELISA for reliable estimates to be made. Purification similar to that obtained by at least one high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) step was generally necessary prior to ELISA analysis of plant materials. Additional levels of purification appeared to be required for some plant materials prior to HPLC in order to obtain an accurate estimate by ELISA techniques. In no case was it possible to obtain reasonable estimates of IAA from crude extracts or even from acidic fractions of extracts of plant tissues. GC-MS techniques provide a rapid and simple method for checking the validity of ELISA techniques. Quantitative GC-MS, or a similar technique that provides an independent quantitative validation, should, whenever possible, be applied to each new plant material under study if use of the ELISA is planned.