In this communication, we show that the plant uncoupling mitochondrial protein (PUMP) present in potato tuber mitochondria is induced by aging at 28 degrees C and that this induction is strongly stimulated when the potato tubers are stored at low temperature (4 degrees C). PUMP activity was detected by the degree of linoleic acid (LA)-induced ATP-sensitive mitochondrial uncoupling measured as a function of the decrease in membrane potential (delta psi). The PUMP content was evaluated by immunoblot analysis using polyclonal antibodies raised against potato PUMP that specifically detected a 32 kDa band. In agreement with the effect of LA on delta psi, the content of the 32 kDa band increased during storage and was stimulated by low temperature. These results support the proposed role of PUMP in plant thermogenesis and possibly in fruit ripening and senescence.