Thylakoid membranes were treated with either pancreatic or snake venom phospholipase A2, and the residual phospholipid content of these membranes was determined and compared to the rates of Photosystem II and/or Photosystem I electron transports. The hydrolysis curves of both phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylcholine displayed a first, rapid phase which was almost temperature-insensitive, followed by a second, slower phase which depended strongly on the temperature. When pancreatic phospholipase A2 had access either to the outer face or to both faces of the thylakoid membrane, either only part of or all the phospholipids, respectively, could be hydrolysed. These results were interpreted as indicating an asymmetric distribution of phospholipids across the thylakoid membrane, phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylcholine being preferentially located in the outer and the inner layer, respectively. When acting on uncoupled thylakoid membranes, phospholipase A2 exerted an inhibitory effect on Photosystem II activity and a stimulatory effect on Photosystem I activity. The involvement of phosphatidylcholine and of phosphatidylglycerol in electron transport activities of Photosystem II and of Photosystem I are discussed with special reference to the role of the external and internal pools of these phospholipids.