Wheat (Triticum aestivum L. var. Lew) embryonic axes take up externally supplied radioactive amino acid (from a solution greater than 2 millimolar) such that the specific radioactivity of the total internal amino acid rapidly reaches that of the external solution. Nevertheless, incorporation of radioactive amino acid into protein increases steadily as the concentration of external amino acid is increased, indicating that the amino acid that is precursor to protein synthesis is not in equilibrium with the total internal amino acid pool. When the external source of amino acid is removed, incorporation of radiolabeled amino acid into protein continues at a rate comparable to that of embryos maintained in the radioactive solution. In explanation of these data, it is suggested that there are two separate cytoplasmic pools of amino acids, one a protein synthesis precursor pool, and the second, an expandable pool into which exogenous radioactive amino acids are taken up. The protein synthesis pool is fed at a limited rate from the expandable pool and at a far greater rate from an endogenous source. As a consequence, the specific activity of the amino acid that is the precursor for protein synthesis is considerably below that of the total internal pool and is determined by the rate of movement into the protein synthesis pool from the expanded radioactive cytoplasmic pool.