The genetic elements specifying six putative two-component regulatory systems (2CSs) were identified on the chromosome of Lactococcus lactis MG1363. These 2CSs appear to represent distinct loci, each containing a histidine kinase and response-regulator-encoding gene pair. Transcriptional analysis of the six 2CSs was performed either by generating transcriptional fusions to a reporter gene or by primer extension. Two of the systems appeared to be expressed constitutively at a high level, whilst the remaining four exhibited growth-phase-dependent expression. Insertional mutagenesis established that the two constitutively expressed 2CSs are necessary for normal cell growth and/or survival. Mutational analysis of the remaining four systems revealed that they are implicated in susceptibility to extreme pH, osmotic or oxidative conditions, or the regulation of phosphatase activity in L. lactis.