Endogenous and glucose respiration were studied during the life history of Chlorella pyrenoidosa. A generalized picture of the course of respiration during the life cycle is suggested. At the liberation of daughter cells from the wall of the mother cell, or soon after, the respiration rate reaches its lowest level. If the daughter cells are placed in light the respiration rate rapidly increases with time, soon reaches a maximum, and then declines slowly. Two factors are important in the initial increase—the early developmental stage of the cells and the influence of light. In autotrophically developing algae the parts played by developmental processes and by light have not been separated. Direct activation of respiratory enzymes by light, in addition to the level of respiratory substrate, cannot be excluded.
The decline of respiration rate over most of the cell history seems to have no connection with light and is probably bound to the developmental processes per se. Darkening the suspension interrupts growth and induces liberation of daughter cells, with concomitant faster decrease in respiration rate. The rate of respiration of small daughter cells decreases in darkness only slowly with time. Illumination seems necessary to bring these cells back to a high level of respiratory activity.