Streptococcus mutans JC 2 produced mainly lactate as a fermentation product when grown in nitrogen-limited continuous culture in the presence of an excess of glucose and produced formate, acetate, and ethanol, but no lactate, under glucose-limited conditions. The levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in these cultures were of the same order of magnitude, and the activity of LDH was completely dependent on fructose-1,6-diphosphate (FDP). The intracellular level of FDP was high and the level of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) was low under the glucose-excess conditions. In the glucose-limited cultures, all glycolytic intermediates studied, except PEP, were low. S. mutans FIL, which had an FDP-independent LDH and similar levels of glycolytic intermediates as S. mutans JC2, produced mainly lactate under glucose-excess or under glucose-limited conditions. LDH of Streptococcus bovis ATCC 9809 was dependent on FDP for activity at a low concentration of pyruvate but had a significant activity without FDP at a high concentration of pyruvate. This strain also produced mainly lactate both under glucose-excess and glucose-limited conditions. The levels and characteristics of these LDHs were not changed by the culture conditions. These results indicate that changes in the intracellular level of FDP regulate LDH activity, which in turn influences the type of fermentation products produced by streptococci. PEP, adenosine 5'-monophosphate, adenosine 5'-diphosphate, and inorganic phosphate significantly inhibited LDH activity from S. mutans JC 2 and may also participate in the regulation of LDH activity in other streptococci.