[en] Previous studies have shown that certain specific leaf mRNAs exhibit a diurnal rhythmicity in their quantity in higher plants. To determine whether this situation is restricted to a few mRNAs, or affects a large number, we have used in vitro translation and two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to analyze the mRNA complement in leaves of Sinapis alba at different times during an 8-hour/16-hour day/night cycle. A method for the visual analysis of two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was also developed. This method selected, at each sampling time, spots that were significant. It then selected, between two sampling times, intensity changes that were significant at the 0.02 confidence level. During a day/night cycle, complex rhythmic changes affected about 10% of the mRNAs. Nineteen different rhythm patterns were found. These 19 patterns fell into four main classes: mRNAs that increase during the light period and decrease during the dark, mRNAs that increase and then decrease during the light period, mRNAs that decrease during the light period and increase during the dark period, and mRNAs that increase and then decrease during the dark period.