A variety of N-acetylneuraminic acid (AcNeu) derivatives and analogs were examined as inducers of the extracellular neuraminidase of Arthrobacter sialophilus. Neuraminidase inductions were primarily studied with tryptone-yeast extract-grown cells after washing and resuspension in a defined replacement medium. The addition of readily metabolizable carbon sources to the latter, such as 0.1% casein hydrolysate, glutamate, or glucose, enhanced enzyme synthesis. Enzyme appearance occurred after a lag in the uptake of inducers, suggesting the participation of a co-inducible transport system. Neuraminidase formation during exponential growth in the presence of AcNeu ceased after depletion of this end product from the medium. It was found, besides AcNeu, that its methyl ester, 2-deoxy-2,3-dehydro-N-acetylneuraminic acid and 2-deoxy-2,3-dehydro-N-acetyl-neuraminic acid methyl ester are each active inducers, whereas beta-anomers of AcNeu-ketosides are not. These results, in comparison to known enzyme specificity, have revealed significant differences and parallels between the inductive and catalytic processes for neuraminidase. In particular, it would appear that the free carboxylate and oxygenation at C-2 of AcNeu, essential for enzyme catalysis with traditional AcNeu substrates, are not necessary for induction and, furthermore, that transition state analogs can specifically induce this enzyme. The failure to observe catabolite repression in this system is discussed in relation to the intermediary metabolism of the genus Arthrobacter.