The sensitivity of Venturia inaequalis field isolates to inhibitors of the cytochrome bc1 complex at the Qo site (QoIs) was characterised at the molecular, biochemical and physiological level, and compared to other respiration inhibitors. Comparison of a sensitive and a QoI-resistant isolate revealed very high resistance factors both in mycelium growth and spore germination assays. Cross-resistance was observed among QoIs such as trifloxystrobin, azoxystrobin, famoxadone, strobilurin B and myxothiazol. In the mycelium growth assay, antimycin A, an inhibitor of the cytochrome bc1 complex at the Qi site, was less active against the QoI-resistant than against the sensitive isolate. The mixture of QoIs with salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM), an inhibitor of the alternative oxidase, exerted synergistic effects in the spore germination but not in the mycelium growth assay. Thus, the cytochrome and the alternative respiration pathways are assumed to play different roles, depending on the developmental stage of the fungus. Induction of alternative oxidase (AOX) by trifloxystrobin was observed in mycelium cells at the molecular level for the sensitive but not the resistant isolate. Following QoI treatment, respiration parameters such as oxygen consumption, ATP level, membrane potential and succinate dehydrogenase activity were only slightly reduced in Qo-resistant mycelium cells, and remained at much higher levels than in sensitive cells. In contrast, no difference was observed between sensitive and resistant isolates when NADH consumption was measured. Comparison of the cytochrome b (cyt b) gene of the sensitive and resistant isolates did not reveal any point mutations as is known to occur in resistant isolates of other plant pathogens. It is assumed that QoI resistance in V inaequalis may be based on a compensation of the energy deficiency following QoI application upstream of the NADH dehydrogenase of the respiratory chain.