When radioactive UDP-glucose is supplied to 1-millimeter-thick slices of pea (Pisum sativum) stem tissue, radioactive glucose becomes incorporated into membrane-bound polysaccharides. Evidence is given that this incorporation does not result from breakdown of UDP-glucose and utilization of the resultant free glucose, and that the incorporation most likely takes place at the cell surface, leading to a specific labeling of the plasma membrane. The properties of the plasma membrane that are indicated by this method of recognition, including the association of K(+)-stimulated ATPase activity with the plasma membrane, resemble properties inferred using other approaches. The membrane-associated polysaccharide product formed from UDP-glucose is largely 1,3-linked glucan, presumably callose, and does not behave as a precursor of cell wall polymers. No substantial amount of cellulose is formed from UDP-glucose in this procedure, even though these cells incorporate free glucose rapidly into cellulose. This synthetase system that uses external UDP-glucose may serve for formation of wound callose.