A radiochemical synthesis is described for ICqindole-3-methanesulfonic acid (IMS), a strongly acidic auxin analog. Techniques were developed for fractionation and purification of IMS using normal and reverse phase chromatography. In addition, the utility of both Fourier transform infrared spectrometry and fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry for analysis of IMS has been demonstrated. IMS was shown to be an active auxin, stimulating soybean hypocotyl elonption, bean first internode curvature, and ethylene production. IMS uptake by thin sections of soybean hypocotyl was essentially independent of solution pH and, when applied at a 100 micromolar concentration, IMS exhibited a basipetal polarity in its transport in both corn coleoptile and soybean hypocotyl sections. [14C]IMS should, therefore, be a useful compound to study fundamental processes related to the movement of auxins in plant tissues and organelles.