Inhibitor titration curves and discrimination against 18O2 by mitochondrial respiration in three strains of green algae (Selenastrum minutum [Naeg.] Collins, and two strains of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Dangeard) with differing respiratory capabilities were determined. Discrimination for cytochrome pathway respiration ranged from 19.89 to 20.43%. Discrimination for alternative pathway respiration by wild-type C. reinhardtii (measured in the presence of KCN) was 25.46%, while discrimination values for a cytochrome oxidase deficient mutant of C. reinhardtii ranged from 24.24 to 24.96%. In the absence of KCN, the alternative pathway was not engaged in wild-type C. reinhardtii, the only algal strain that possessed both cytochrome and alternative pathway capacities.