The callus of Nicotiana rustica cv Gansu yellow flower and N. tabacum cv willow leaf were cultured on ordinary subculture medium (M-1) and on regeneration medium (M-2), respectively. No differentiation was observed in Gansu yellow flower tobacco callus cultures grown on both M-1 and M-2 medium. The respiration of both cultures was partially resistant to cyanide and markedly inhibited by m-chlorobenzhydroxamic acid. The relative contributions of alternative and cytochrome pathway were 31% and 47% of the total respiration, respectively, in M-1 callus cultures. The relative O2 uptake of the two pathways was not changed significantly in M-2 callus cultures. In subcultured M-1 callus cultures of Willow leaf tobacco, the respiration mediated via alternative pathway was about 29 to 38% of the total respiration, and the cytochrome pathway still was the major respiratory pathway. In M-2 callus cultures in which differentiation occurred, the relative contribution of alternative pathway increased to 41 to 47% of the total respiration, and the cytochrome pathway decreased considerably. These results suggested that the change of respiratory electron transport pathway was probably related to the differentiation of tobacco callus cultures.