In flood-tolerant species, a common response to inundation is growth of adventitious roots into the water column. The capacity for these roots to become photosynthetically active has received scant attention. The experiments presented here show the aquatic adventitious roots of the flood-tolerant, halophytic stem-succulent, Tecticornia pergranulata (subfamily Salicornioideae, Chenopodiaceae) are photosynthetic and quantify for the first time the photosynthetic capacity of aquatic roots for a terrestrial species. Fluorescence microscopy was used to determine the presence of chloroplasts within cells of aquatic roots. Net O-2 production by excised aquatic roots, when underwater, was measured with varying light and CO2 regimes; the apparent maximum capacity (P-max) for underwater net photosynthesis in aquatic roots was 0.45 mu mol O-2 m(-2) s(-1). The photosynthetic potential of these roots was supported by the immunolocalization of PsbA, the major protein of photosystem II, and ribulose-1-5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) in root protein extracts. Chlorophyllous aquatic roots of T. pergranulata are photosynthetically active, and such activity is a previously unrecognized source of O-2, and potentially carbohydrates, in flooded and submerged plants.