Cellular anatomy and expression of glycine decarboxylase (GDC) protein were studied during leaf development of the C3-C4 intermediate species Moricandia arvensis. Leaf anatomy was initially C3-like and the number and profile area of mitochondria in the bundle-sheath cells were the same as those in adjacent mesophyll cells. Between a leaf length of 6 and 12 mm there was a bundle-sheath-specific, 4-fold increase in the number of mitochondria! profiles, followed by a doubling of their individual profile areas as the leaves expanded further. Subunits of GDC were present in whole-leaf extracts before the anatomical development of bundle-sheath cells. Whereas the GDC H-protein content of leaves increased steadily throughout development, the increase in GDC P-protein was synchronous with the development of mitochondria in the bundle sheath. The P-protein was confined to bundle-sheath mitochondria throughout leaf development, and its content in individual mitochondria increased before the anatomical development of the bundle sheath. Anatomical and biochemical attributes of the C3-C4 character were present in the cotyledons and sepals but not in other photosynthetic organs/tissues. In leaves and cotyledons that developed in the dark, the expression of the P-protein and the organellar development were reduced but the bundle-sheath cell specificity was retained.