Yeast cells expressing cDNA libraries have provided two new approaches to facilitate further identification of cytokinin-binding proteins and receptors. These are the yeast three hybrid (Y3H) system and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). The Y3H system requires a synthetic hybrid ligand comprising an "anchor" moiety (e.g., dexamethasone) linked to a cytokinin via a spacer. In the yeast nucleus, this ligand by binding connects two fusion proteins leading to a reporter gene activation and detection and characterisation of cytokinin binding proteins. Herein is reported the first synthesis of dexamethasone-cytokinin ligands with a spacer linkage. This was attached to the purine ring of 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) at positions 2, 8 or 9. To achieve this, dexamethasone was modified by periodate oxidation yielding a carboxylic group used for conjugation to the spacer by amide formation. Biotinyl derivatives of cytokinins for FACS included those synthesised by reaction of an activated ester of biotin with 8-(10-amino-decylamino) derivatives of BAP and BAP 9-riboside. Properties of the conjugates and some biological situations where they could be applicable are discussed briefly.