The ontogeny of early microspore-derived embryo development was followed using three stains. The stain 3,3'-diethyloxadicarbocyanine iodide, which previously had been reported to be specific for mitochondria, was observed also to demonstrate the exine of developing microspores of Brassica napus. It provided high contrast when used in combination with Tinapol 5 BM, a stain for cellulosic cell walls, and aided identification of microspores with embryogenic potential. Hoechst 33342, a nuclear stain, alone or in combination with either or both of the other stains, could be used to highlight the nuclear developmental stage of the microspores. This paper describes procedures using these materials for the specific staining of exine, cell wall/intine and nucleus, thereby permitting their fate to be followed during the early phases of microspore-derived embryo development.