Extracts prepared from cotyledons of air-dry pea seeds showed a sizeable alcohol dehydrogenase activity. The activity decreased when the seeds germinated under aerobic conditions, but increased when they were kept under anaerobic conditions. A relatively high alcohol dehydrogenase activity was also found in the cotyledons from seeds which germinated in solutions of one per cent ethanol or acetaldehyde but under otherwise aerobic conditions. These results suggest that the alcohol dehydrogenase activity of the cotyledons during germination is closely related with the endogenous ethanol or acetaldehyde concentration in the seeds. The alcohol dehydrogenase activity is discussed in relation to previous data on the respiration in the cotyledons during germination.