The interdependence of the development of wound-induced respiration and membrane-related phospholipid biosynthesis in potato tuber (Solanum tuberosum var. Russet) slices was established by the use of agents which selectively affect lipid and phospholipid synthesis. Cerulenin, a specific inhibitor of de novo fatty acid synthesis, inhibited the ultimate development of wound-induced respiration and of cyanide resistance only when given in the critical first 10 to 12 hours of slice aging. Similarly, when slices were exposed to the choline analogue dimethylaminoethanol within the first 10 hours, the phospholipid composition of the membrane lipids was drastically altered, the wound-induced respiration in a 24-hr period was substantially curtailed, and the development of cyanide insensitivity was sharply inhibited. These observations indicate that time-restricted membrane-related phospholipid synthesis is prerequisite to the development of wound-induced respiration and concurrent cyanide insensitivity.