2,6-Dichlorobenzonitrile (DCB, 100 μM) inhibited by 80 to 85% the incorporation of [3H]glucose into cellulose in stem segments of etiolated pea (Pisum sativum) seedlings. The inhibition lasted for at least 24 h. In the period 1 to 4 h after the excision of the segments, DCB did not influence elongation in the presence or absence of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). However, during the period 1 to 24 h after excision, DCB enhanced endogenous and 2,4-D-stimulated elongation by 65 and 34%, respectively. DCB did not affect the incorporation of 3H from [3H]arabinose into xyloglucan, and did not change the ability of the [3H]xyloglucan formed in vivo to bind strongly to the cell wall. Therefore, at least 80 to 85% of newly synthesized cellulose was excess to the requirements for tight wall binding of newly synthesized xyloglucan. This conflicts with the hypothesis that xyloglucan is held in the cell wall solely by direct hydrogen bonding to the surfaces of cellulosic microfibrils.