Low doses of ionizing radiation have a selective immunosuppressive effect on in vivo B cell responses to thymus-independent (TI) antigens. The B cell response, assayed as direct anti-trinitrophenyl (TNP)-specific plaque-forming cells (PFC), induced by type 2, TI antigens (TNP-Ficoll or TNP-Dextran), was reduced, on the average, by 10-fold in animals exposed to 200 rad of ionizing radiation 24 hr before antigen challenge. In contrast, PFC responses to type 1, TI antigens (TNP-lipopolysaccharide or TNP-Brucella abortus) are unaffected in mice exposed to the same dose of radiation. Adoptive transfers showed that this selective immunosuppression is a result of the specific inactivation of the B cell subpopulation responding to type 2, TI antigens. These experiments suggest that physiologic differences exist in the B cell subpopulations of normal mice which respond to type 1, or type 2, TI antigens.