In appendices of Sauromatum guttatum that are developing thermogenicity, mitochondria isolated from successive developmental stages of the inflorescence show an increase in the oxidation rates of proline and glutamate. A similar rise in the oxidation rates of these compounds is observed in mitochondria obtained from the spathe, a nonthermogenic organ of the inflorescence. Changes in oxidative metabolism were also observed in mitochondria isolated from sections of immature appendix treated with salicylic acid (SA) at 0.69 microgram per gram fresh weight indicating that they are induced by SA. At that concentration, however, SA has no effect on oxygen consumption by mitochondria in the presence of glutamate, proline, or malate. Furthermore, oxygen uptake by mitochondria in the presence of proline or glutamate is partially sensitive to salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM) at concentrations greater than 2 millimolar when in the presence of 1 millimolar KCN. For NADH, succinate, and malate a high capacity of the alternative (cyanide-resistant) pathway is found that is completely sensitive to SHAM at 1.5 to 4 millimolar. The increase in the mitochondrial capacity to oxidize either amino acid is also found in four other Araceae species including both thermogenic and nonthermogenic ones. After anthesis, the rates of proline and glutamate oxidation decline.