Protoplasts and mitochondria were isolated from leaves of homozygous barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) mutant deficient in glycine decarboxylase complex (GDC, EC 184.108.40.206) and wild-type plants. The photosynthetic rates of isolated protoplasts from the mutant and wild-type plants under saturating CO2 were similar, but the respiratory rate of the mutant was two-fold higher. Respiration in the mutant plants was much more strongly inhibited by antimycin A than in wild-type plants and a low level of the alternative oxidase protein was found in mitochondria. The activities of NADP- and NAD-dependent malate dehydrogenases were also increased in mutant plants, suggesting an activation of the malate-oxaloacetate exchange for redox transfer between organelles. Mutant plants had elevated activities of NADH- and NADPH-dependent glyoxylate/hydroxypyruvate reductases, which may be involved in oxidizing excess NAD(P)H and the scavenging of glyoxylate. We estimated distribution of pools of adenylates, NAD(H) and NADP(H) between chloroplasts, cytosol and mitochondria. Under photorespiratory conditions, ATP/ADP and NADPH/NADP ratios in the mutant were higher in chloroplasts as compared to wild-type plants. The cytosolic NADH/NAD ratio was increased, whereas the ratio in mitochondria decreased. It is concluded that photorespiration serves as an effective redox transfer mechanism from the chloroplast. Plants with a lowered GDC content are deficient in this mechanism, which leads to over-reduction and over-energization of the chloroplasts.