The changes in conjugated indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) levels compared to the levels of free IAA have been analyzed during the development of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seed using quantitative mass spectrometry. Free and ester-linked IAA levels are both relatively high in the early stages of seed development but drop during seed maturation. Concomitantly, the amide-linked IAA becomes the major form of IAA present as the seed matures. In fully mature seed, amide IAA accounts for 80% of the total IAA. The total IAA pool in the seed is maintained at approximately the same level (150-170 nanograms/seed) once the level of free IAA has attained its maximum. Thus, the amount of amide IAA conjugates that accumulate in mature seed is closely related to the amounts of free and ester-linked IAA that disappeared from the rapidly growing seed. Analysis of developing bean pods, from which the seeds were taken for analysis, showed very low levels of both ester and amide-linked IAA conjugates. The pattem of changes seen in the levels of free and conjugated IAA in developing bean seed supports our prior hypothesis suggesting a role of IAA conjugates in the storage of the phytohormone in the seed.