The polypeptides synthesized in vitro by mitochondria isolated from etiolated maize shoots of a number of different nuclear and cytoplasmic genotypes have been compared by using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. We have previously shown that mitochondria from maize plants carrying the T or C forms of cytoplasmically inherited male sterility (cms-T and cms-C mitochondria) can be distinguished from each other and from the mitochondria of normal (N) plants by the synthesis of a single additional or variant polypeptide species. Using lines that carry the T cytoplasm, and that differ principally in the presence or absence of nuclear "restorer" alleles that suppress the male-sterile phenotype, we find that these nuclear genes specifically suppress synthesis of the 13,000 M(r) variant polypeptide. A 21,000 M(r) polypeptide that is synthesized by N mitochondria is not detectable among the translation products of cms-T mitochondria from either restored or nonrestored lines. Results obtained with a number of lines possessing dominant restorer alleles from different sources indicate that it is the restorer gene at the Rf(1) locus that is primarily responsible for regulating synthesis of the 13,000 M(r) polypeptide. Mitochondria from lines with the S form of cytoplasmic male sterility (cms-S) were found to synthesize a group of minor polypeptides, ranging in molecular weight from 42,000 to 88,000, which were not detected in N, cms-T, or cms-C mitochondria. In the case of the S and C forms of male sterility no differences were found between the translation products of mitochondria from restored and nonrestored lines.