The cellular localization of heat-shock proteins has been described in a number of experimental animal systems but is not well defined in plant systems. Sense and antisense RNA transcripts from the open reading frame (ORF) of 18-kDa maize heat-shock protein genes were employed in in situ hybridizations of inbred Oh43 radicles and plumules to reveal the locations of their mRNAs. Localization of the specific mRNAs to the younger meristematic cells of the root-tips and shoot-tips and also to the densely cytoplasmic cells of the vasculature was observed routinely. The ORF of one of our 18-kDa genes was cloned into an expression vector, and the 161-amino acid polypeptide was used to raise antibodies. Using a Fast Red procedure, the cellular positions of the heat-shock protein-antibody conjugates were observed in sections similar to those employed in the antisense RNA in situ hybridizations. The localization of the antibody appears to parallel closely the patterns of distribution of the mRNAs.