The capacity of ‘Washington’ navel orange fruit [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] to synthesize and catabolize purines and pyrimidines was assessed. De novo biosynthesis of purine nucleotide was demonstrated by [14C] bicarbonate incorporation into purine nucleotides, blockage of this process by four known inhibitors, and assimilation of radiolabeled carbon from formate, both carbons of glycine, and carbon-3 of serine into the adenine ring. De novo synthesis of pyrimidines via the orotate pathway in young fruit was demonstrated by incorporation of [14C] bicarbonate and [6-14C]orotic acid into uridine nucleotides, release of 14CO2 from [7-14C]orotic acid, and blockage of these processes by 6-azauridine. Synthesis of purine and pyrimidine nucleotides via salvage reactions was demonstrated by incorporation of radiolabeled bases and ribonucleosides into nucleotides and into nucleic acids. Release of 14CO2 from radiolabeled adenine, adenosine, hypoxanthine, and xanthine, uric acid, urea (purines), uracil, and uridine (pyrimidines) provided evidence the pathways for catabolism (degradation) of purines and pyrimidines in navel orange fruit are similar to those found in microorganisms and animal tissues. To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first to assess the capacity of anabolic and catabolic pathways of purine and pyrimidine nucleotide metabolism in fruit of any species. De novo synthetic activities in orange fruit permit increases in the pools of purine and pyrimidine nucleotides using simple precursors. Further, the patterns of salvage and catabolism suggest riboside pools are reused predominantly as nucleotides, while the majority of base pools are degraded to permit recycling of carbon and nitrogen into other metabolites.