Ethylene reduces the rate of expansion growth of cells and it is suggestive that the rate of expansion is controlled at least in part by the synthesis of hydroxyproline rich glycopeptides that are secreted with other polysaccharide material through the plasmalemma into the cell wall, thereby enhancing the thickness of the cell wall and also rendering it poorly extensible. In combination, auxin would appear to counteract the effect of ethylene in this respect, for although auxin enhances the synthesis of protein and the content in the cell walls, as well as causing some increase in wall thickness, it reduces the amount of hydroxyproline reaching the wall. Such effects may be instrumental in enhancing wall plasticity, the rate of expansion and the final cell size. These results indicate that ethylene and auxin together afford a dual regulatory system exerted through a control of a specific part of the protein synthetic pathway, the products of which regulate the rate of expansion, and the potential for expansion, of the plant cell wall. 38 references, 3 figures, 8 tables.