Ethanol stimulated the uptake of l-alanine into isolated membrane vesicles of a marine pseudomonad at a rate and to an extent comparable with that obtained with reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) or the artificial electron donor ascorbate-N, N, N′, N′-tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine (ascorbate-TMPD). Methanol and branched-chain alcohols had little or no capacity to energize transport. No quantitative relationship was found between the ability of a compound to induce oxygen uptake and to energize transport, since with ethanol initial rates of oxygen uptake were approximately 4% of that obtained with NADH or ascorbate-TMPD. Cytochrome analysis revealed that NADH and ethanol reduced cytochromes b and c, whereas ascorbate-TMPD coupled primarily at the level of cytochrome c. Approximately 25% of the cytochromes reduced by dithionite were reducible by ethanol. Ethanol reduction of both cytochromes b and c was prevented by 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline-N-oxide, p-chloromercuribenzoate, N-ethylmaleimide, and iodoacetate. The ethanol- and NADH-energized transport systems for l-alanine were subject to quantitatively similar inhibition by cyanide, 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline-N-oxide, 2, 4-dinitrophenol, and the sulfhydryl reagents p-chloromercuribenzoate, N-ethylmaleimide, and iodoacetate. In contrast, for ascorbate-TMPD-driven transport, only cyanide and 2, 4-dinitrophenol remained fully effective as inhibitors, p-chloromercuribenzoate was only half as effective, and the other compounds stimulated transport. Inhibition of ethanol oxidation strikingly paralleled the inhibition of ethanol-driven transport for each of the inhibitors, including 2, 4-dinitrophenol. Marked differences between inhibition of oxygen uptake and inhibition of transport were observed when NADH or ascorbate-TMPD were the electron donors. The data indicate that only a small proportion of the respiratory chain complexes in the membrane vesicles are involved in transport and these are efficiently coupled to ethanol oxidation. The results also suggest that when 2, 4-dinitrophenol inhibits transport it is not acting as an uncoupling agent.