alpha-Glucosides are the most abundant fermentable sugars in the industrial applications of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the active transport across the plasma membrane is the rate-limiting step for their metabolism. In this report we performed a detailed kinetic analysis of the active alpha-glucoside transport system(s) present in a wild-type strain, and in strains with defined alpha-glucoside permeases. Our results indicate that the wild-type strain harbors active transporters with high and low affinity for maltose and trehalose, and low-affinity transport systems for maltotriose and alpha-methylglucoside. The maltose permease encoded by the MAL21 gene showed a high affinity (K(m) approximately 5 mM) for maltose, and a low affinity (K(m) approximately 90 mM) for trehalose. On the other hand, the alpha-glucoside permease encoded by the AGT1 gene had a high affinity (K(m) approximately 7 mM) for trehalose, a low affinity (K(m) approximately 18 mM) for maltose and maltotriose, and a very low affinity (K(m) approximately 35 mM) for alpha-methylglucoside.