Abstract Tightly coupled respiring corn mitochondria ( Zea mays L.) respond to calcium addition with a transitory respiratory increase, proton extrusion, and Ca 2+ binding. The extent of response is dependent upon the level of endogenous phosphate, and a large sustained respiratory increase can be obtained with addition of phosphate. However, calcium does not act as a permeant cation in that it will not penetrate with acetate. It appears that the transitory respiratory increase must be linked to the uptake of a calcium phosphate complex, but there is no evidence that transport of the complex serves to produce an electrophoretic calcium uniport. It is believed that calcium phosphate transport in corn is a constitutive property, and not produced by membrane damage.