Three homofermentative (Lactobacillus plantarum B38, L. plantarum B33, Pediococcus pentosaceus B30) and three heterofermentative (Leuconostoc mesenteroides 39, L. oenos B70, Lactobacillus brevis) lactic acid bacteria were examined for the presence or absence of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent and NAD-independent d- and l-lactate dehydrogenases. Two of the six strains investigated, P. pentosaceus and L. oenos, did not exhibit an NAD-independent enzyme activity capable of reducing dichlorophenol indophenol. The pH optima of the lactic dehydrogenases were determined. The NAD-dependent enzymes from homofermentative strains exhibited optima at pH 7.8 to 8.8, whereas values from 9.0 to 10.0 were noted for these enzymes from heterofermentative organisms. The optima for the NAD-independent enzymes were between 5.8 and 6.6. The apparent Michaelis-Menten constants determined for both NAD and the substrates demonstrated the existence of a greater affinity for d- than l-lactic acid. A comparison of the specific NAD-dependent and NAD-independent lactate dehydrogenase activities revealed a direct correlation of the d/l ratios of these activities with the type of lactic acid produced during the growth of the organism.