All nitrate reductase-related activities of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii wild-type and mutant 305 cells were degraded in vivo under conditions in which the reversible inactivation could take place. When the enzyme was in the inactive form, half-lives of all nitrate reductase-related activities in wild and mutant 305 strains decreased significantly. The only nitrate reductase-related activity present in mutant 104, nitrate reductase-diaphorase, was incapable of undergoing reversible inactivation and was not degraded under any of the conditions tested. Addition of nitrate to inactive nitrate reductase of mutant 305 caused the in vivo reactivation of the enzyme and halted its degradation. Our results indicate that reversibly inactivated nitrate reductase from C. reinhardtii is the main target for a degradation system, and that nitrate reductase related diaphorase must be integrated in a reversibly inactive nitrate reductase complex to undergo degradation. A physiological role for the interconversion process of nitrate reductase can be understood on the basis of these facts.