Mitochondria from dormant spores of the fungus Botryodiplodia theobromae did not contain extractable cyctochrome c oxidase (EC 184.108.40.206) activity; however, this enzyme activity was elaborated rapidly after 150 min of the 240-min germination sequence. The absence of cytochrome c oxidase activity in the dormant spores apparently is not an artifact caused by spore disruption and fractionation procedures, transient enzyme instability, or insensitivity of the enzyme assay. Mitochondria from dormant spores of three other phylogenetically diverse genera of fungi were observed to contain readily detectable quantities of cytochrome c oxidase, suggesting that the absence of the enzyme in B. theobromae may be relatively novel. The elaboration of cytochrome c oxidase activity in germinating spores was abolished by cycloheximide if the drug was added at or before 95 min of germination, but development of enzyme activity was initially insensitive to inhibitors of the mitochondrial genetic system, chloramphenicol or ethidium bromide. Incubation of spores in both ethionine and S-2-aminoethyl-l-cysteine reduced the amount of extracted cytochrome c oxidase activity. Elaboration of enzyme activity was severely retarded by cerulenin, an inhibitor of fatty acid biosynthesis and of spore germination. This enzyme activity developed in water-incubated or 1% Tween 80-incubated spores in which only the cytoplasmic ribosomes are functional in translation of a stored nuclear messenger RNA. The results of this study show that cytoplasmic (but not mitochondrial) ribosome function is required for development of this enzyme activity during spore germination, and they suggest that a portion of the cytochrome c oxidase enzyme or some other protein required for its activity is synthesized de novo upon germination.