The presence and function of the P-glycoprotein mediated multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) mechanism was demonstrated in numerous aquatic organisms. The aim of this study was to investigate whether in aquatic organisms exists the inherent, species-specific basal level of MXR activity. Here the results of the direct comparison of the basal (noninduced) level of MXR activity measured in several marine (Mytilus galloprovincialis, Monodonta turbinata, Patella lusitanica) and freshwater (Dreissena polymorpha, Viviparus viviparus, Anodonta cygnea) molluscs species are presented. The primary criterion for the assessment and quantification of the basal level of MXR activity was the ratio (R) between the accumulation or efflux of the fluorescent model MXR substrates (rhodamine B or rhodamine 123) in or from the gills, measured with and in the absence of model MXR inhibitors verapamil or cyclosporin A. Significantly different levels of MXR activity were found in the species investigated. These levels generally show a relatively good correlation with the level of pollution present in their natural habitats. Considering these results a conclusion was reached that in aquatic organisms indeed exist the different inherent, species-specific levels of MXR activity. The identified levels might be, at least partly, responsible either for the resistance to, or for the sensitivity of a particular species to organic pollution.