Seeds of two cultivars (Arkel and Boneville) of pea (Pisum sativum L.) were allowed to germinate in dark or in the presence of two intensities of light (9 and 18 Wm−2) at 25±2°C. Boneville,. in comparison to Arkel, leaked larger quantities of nitrogen, potassium, protein and sugars into the soaking medium. However, the two cultivars lost a comparable amount of phosphorus and nitrate. The presence or absence of light during hydration did not make any difference on the leakage pattern of the solutes.