Chromosome damage induced by physical and chemical mutagens can be quantitated by the frequencies of micronuclei (MCN) produced in tetrads of the meiotic pollen mother cells of Tradescantia, i.e. the 'MCN-in-Tetrad' test. The stage sensitivity and dose response of these meiocytes to low exposures of X-rays was studied to improve the efficiency and reliability of this test. Stage sensitivity was determined by observing, at 3 hr intervals, the frequencies of X-ray (35 rads)-induced MCN in tetrads from a series of 16 fixations of tetrad-containing inflorescences. Late stages of meiosis (3-9 hr post-irradiation fixation groups) were insensitive (5-14 MCN/100 tetrads). Relatively high sensitivity was exhibited in the early stages of meiosis. The first and second sensitive peaks (62 and 61 MCN/100 tetrads) centered around the 21 and 39 hr post-irradiation fixation groups respectively. Control groups yielded around 3-4 MCN/100 tetrads. A dose-response relation for MCN was determined by treating early stages of meiotic pollen mother cells with X-ray exposures ranging from 9.5 to 57.5 rads. A linear regression line was established with about 20 MCN/100 tetrads per 10 rad increment.