Occurrence of an essential enzyme in jasmonate (JA) biosynthesis, the allene oxide cyclase, (AOC) was analyzed in different developmental stages and various organs of Arabidopsis thaliana plants by immuno blot analysis and immunocytological approaches. Levels of AOC and of the two preceding enzymes in JA biosynthesis increased during seedling development accompanied by increased levels of JA and 12-oxophytodienoic acid levels after 4 and 8 weeks. Most tissues including all vascular bundles and that of flower buds contain AOC protein. Flowers shortly before opening, however, contain AOC protein preferentially in ovules, stigma cells and vascular bundles, whereas in anthers and pollen AOC could not be detected. The putative roles of AOC and JA in development are discussed.