The effects of treatment with twelve metabolites of trifluralin [2,6-dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-4-(trifluoromethyl) benzenamine] on the gross morphology and ultrastructure of trifluralin-susceptible (S) and -resistant (R) biotypes of goosegrass [Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertner. # ELEIN] root meristems were examined. Unlike trifluralin, ten of the twelve metabolites including the major metabolites of trifluralin caused no root tip swelling even at water-saturated concentrations. Two of the minor metabolites, 3-methoxy-2,6-dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-4-(trifluoromethyl)benzenamine (TR-36M) and N-(2,6-dinitro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-N-propylpropanamide (TR-40), caused root swelling when applied as a saturated solution. The most effective metabolite, TR-36M, caused root swelling at 10 μM or greater concentrations. Because trifluralin caused swelling of the root tips even at a 0.01 μM concentration, trifluralin is 1000-fold more effective than the most herbicidally active metabolite. Both herbicidally active metabolites are also much less effective than trifluralin at increasing the mitotic index. Structural studies indicate that the two herbicidally active metabolites arrest mitosis at prometaphase due to the loss of spindle microtubules, similar to trifluralin. Cortical microtubules are also affected by the highest concentrations of these two metabolites. A resistant biotype, in which mitosis is unaffected by trifluralin, was unaffected by any of the trifluralin metabolites.