Laminarin-hydrolysing activity developed in the endosperm of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) seeds following germination. The enzyme was basic (pI>10) and the apparent molecular mass was estimated to be 35 kDa by SDS-PAGE. It was specific for linear beta-1,3-glucan substrates. Laminarin was hydrolysed by the enzyme to yield a mixture of oligoglucosides, indicating that the enzyme had an endo-action pattern. Thus, the enzyme was identified as beta-1,3- endoglucanase (EC 188.8.131.52). The activity of the enzyme developed in the endosperm after radicle protrusion (germination) had occurred and the enzyme activity was localized exclusively in the micropylar region of the endosperm where the radicle had penetrated. When the lateral endosperm region, where no induction of the enzyme occurred, was wounded (cut or punctured), there was a marked enhancement of beta-1,3-glucanase activity. Thus the post-germinative beta-1, 3-glucanase activity in the micropylar endosperm portion might be brought about by wounding resulting from endosperm rupture by radicle penetration.