Abstract Estimates of the amount of deoxyribonucleic acid in the cytoplasms of the cells leading up to the egg in the fern Pteridium aquilinum were made by means of ultraviolet microspectrography before and after treatment with deoxyribonuclease. The results indicate that cytoplasmic deoxyribonucleic acid becomes detectable in the primary cell of the axial row. High absorptions, markedly diminished by deoxyribonuclease, were characteristic of the cytoplasms of central cells and eggs. The results are related to others from electron microscopy and autoradiography. It is argued that partial depolymerization of the deoxyribonucleic acid of degenerating organelles may contribute to the high cytoplasmic absorptions of central cells. Those of egg cells, however, are attributed to large quantities of deoxyribonucleic acid in mitochondria and plastids.