Addition of the cold-stress-related protein CSP 310 to mitochondria isolated from winter wheat ( Triticum aestivum L. cv. Zalarinka), winter rye ( Secale cereale L. cv. Dymka), maize ( Zea mays L. cv. VIR 36) and pea ( Pisum sativum L. cv. Marat) caused an increase in non-phosphorylative respiration. This increase was inhibited by KCN, indicating that the protein is not a CN-resistant alternative oxidase. Unlike plant mitochondrial uncoupling proteins such as PUMP, the uncoupling action of CSP 310 did not depend on the presence of free fatty acids in the incubation medium. We propose that the mechanism of the uncoupling action of CSP 310 differs from that of other known plant uncoupling systems and that the CSP 310 uncoupling system is a third uncoupling system in cereals.