Bound auxin metabolism in cultured crown-gall tumor cells and pith callus of tobacco was examined by feeding radiolabeled auxins and auxin conjugates. In all tissues fed [14C]indoleacetic acid (IAA), at least one-third of the IAA was decarboxylated, and most of the remaining radiolabel occurred in a compound(s) which did not release IAA with alkaline hydrolysis. In cells transformed by the A6 strain of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the only detectable IAA conjugate was indole-3-acetylaspartic acid (IAAsp) whereas cells transformed by the gene 2 mutant strain A66 produced an unidentified amide conjugate but no IAAsp. By contrast, cells fed [14C]naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) accumulated several amide and ester conjugates. The major NAA metabolite in A6-transformed cells was naphthaleneacetylaspartic acid (NAAsp), whereas the major metabolites in A66-transformed cells were NAA esters. In addition, A66-transformed cells produced an amide conjugate of NAA which was not found in A6-transformed cells and which showed chromatographic properties similar to the unknown IAA conjugate. Pith callus fed [14C] NAA differed from both tumor lines in that if preferentially accumulated amide conjugates other than NAAsp. Differences in the accumulation of IAA and NAA conjugates were attributed in part to the high capacity of tobacco cells to oxide IAA and in part to the specificity of bound auxin hydrolases. All tissues readily metabolized IAAsp and indole-3-acetyl-myo-inositol, but hydrolyzed NAAsp very slowly. Indirect evidence is provided which suggests that ester conjugates of NAA are poorly hydrolyzed as well. Analysis of tissues fed [14C]NAA together with high concentrations of unlabeled IAA or NAA indicates that tissue-specific differences in NAA metabolism were not the result of variation in endogenous auxin levels. Our results support the view that bound auxin hydrolysis is highly specific and an important factor controlling bound auxin accumulation.