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The effects of changes in mitochondrial DNA in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) mosaic mutant (MSC16) on respiration, photosynthesis and photorespiration were analyzed under non-stressed conditions. Decreased respiratory capacity of complex I in MSC16 mitochondria was indicated by lower respiration rates of intact mitochondria with malate and by rotenone-inhibited NADH or malate oxidation in the presence of alamethicin. Moreover, blue native PAGE indicated decreased intensity of protein bands of respiratory chain complex I in MSC16 leaves. Concerning the redox state, complex I impairment could be compensated to some extent by increased external NADH dehydrogenases (NDexNADH) and alternative oxidase (AOX) capacity, the latter presenting differential expression in the light and in the dark. Although MSC16 mitochondria have a higher AOX protein level and an increased capacity, the AOX activity measured in the dark conditions by oxygen discrimination technique is similar to that in wild-type (WT) plants. Photosynthesis induction by light followed different patterns in WT and MSC16, suggesting changes in feedback chloroplast ΔpH caused by different adenylate levels. At steady-state, net photosynthesis was only slightly impaired in MSC16 mutants, while photorespiration rate (PR) was significantly increased. This was the result of large decreases in both stomatal and mesophyll conductance to CO2, which resulted in a lower CO2 concentration in the chloroplasts. The observed changes on CO2 diffusion caused by mitochondrial mutations open a whole new view of interaction between organelle metabolism and whole tissue physiology. The sum of all the described changes in photosynthetic and respiratory metabolism resulted in a lower ATP availability and a slower plant growth.