We have begun a mutational analysis of root morphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. We report here the initial genetic and physiological characterisation of six mutations that affect root growth and development. Three of them (rsw1, rsw2, rsw3) cause extensive radial swelling of the root apex. These mutations are recessive at different loci and show temperature-sensitive expression, such that the roots appear wild type when grown at 18C but express the mutant phenotype when transferred to 31C. Following transfer to the restrictive temperature, these three mutations have different kinetic and morphological patterns of radial swelling, and grow at different rates with continued time at high temperature. We believe that these mutations represent three different loci active in the wild type in regulating the shape of the root. We have also characterised two mutations that affect only the root epidermis, causing many epidermal cells to bulge (reb1-1, reb1-2). The two mutations are recessive and are alleles. However, rebl-1 is constitutive whereas reb1-2 is temperature sensitive, only expressing at 33C. Reb1-2 also causes a deviation from the normal straight growth of the root such that the affected roots grow with sharp bends or meanders. The final mutant reported here is a stunted plant (stp1), in which the root growth rate is approximately 25% of the wild type rate. Moreover, root growth steadily accelerates over 5 days following germination in the wild type but remains constant in stp1, which grows at a constant rate over the same interval.