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Streptococcus mutans JC2 produced formate, acetate, ethanol, and lactate when suspensions were incubated with an excess of galactose or mannitol under strictly anaerobic conditions. The galactose- or mannitol-grown cell suspensions produced more formate, acetate, and ethanol than the glucose-grown cells even when incubated with glucose. The levels of lactate dehydrogenase and fructose 1,6-bisphosphate were not significantly different in these cells, but the level of pyruvate formate-lyase was higher in the galactose- or mannitol-grown cells, and that of triose phosphate was lower in the galactose-grown cells. This suggests that the regulation of pyruvate formate-lyase may play a major role in the change of the fermentation patterns. The cells of S. mutans grown on glucose produced a significant amount of volatile products even in the presence of excess glucose under strictly anaerobic conditions. However, when the anaerobically grown cells were exposed to air, only lactate was produced from glucose. When cells were anaerobically grown on mannitol and then exposed to air for 2 min, only trace amounts of fermentation products were formed from mannitol under anaerobic conditions. It was found that the pyruvate formate-lyase in the cells was inactivated by exposure of the cells to air.