The localization of the elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) in ultrathin cryosections of E. coli cells was determined with the electron microscope using a highly specific immunological labellin technique. EF-Tu is distributed almost homogeneously throughout the cytoplasm. Although it has often been suggested that EF-Tu could be part of a putative prokaryotic cytoskeleton, we did not find any evidence for supramolecular assemblies, such as fibres or filaments, containing a large amount of EF-Tu. EF-Tu was not observed in association with the outer cell membrane and periplasmic space. A topological relationship with the inner membrane is not apparent in our micrographs. In cells in which the EF-Tu level is raised significantly, the protein piles up in discrete cell regions.