Time-resolved photodissociation (PD) patterns of singly protonated peptides with arginine at the C-terminus (C-arg peptide ions) have been used to classify the dissociation channels into two categories, i.e. high-energy channels generating v, w and x and low-energy ones generating b, y and z. x + 1 formed by CαCO cleavage seems to be the intermediate ion in high-energy channels just as a + 1 is for N-arg peptide ions. Difference in time-resolved pattern indicates that the two sets of channels, high- and low-energy ones, are not in direct competition. Noncompetitive dissociation is also indicated by the observation of anomalous effect of matrix used in matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization, a cooler matrix generating more high-energy product ions both in spontaneous dissociation and in PD. Results from detailed investigation suggest that the two sets of channels start from two (or more) different conformations. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.