UDPglucose:(1,3)-beta-D-glucan 3-beta-D-glucosyltransferase (EC 184.108.40.206) was obtained as a particulate fraction from cell-free extracts prepared after mechanical breakage of cells of a strain of the dimorphic fungus Candida albicans. The properties of this glucosyltransferase were investigated. Budding and filamentous cultures of C. albicans were grown after dilution of a stationary phase inoculum of yeast cells into fresh medium at 30 degrees C and 40 degrees C respectively and the specific activities of (1,3)-beta-D-glucan synthase, obtained from budding and filamentous cultures harvested during the first 3 h of their growth, were compared. 1. UDPglucose was the only glucosyl donor in the reaction (assayed by following the incorporation of radioactivity from UDP[14C]glucose into polymer) and the radioactive product was exclusively beta-(1,3)-glucan. 2. Glycogen synthase activity was not detected. 3. (1,3)-beta-D-Glucan synthase activity was enhanced by ATP and GTP. 4. A threefold increase in the specific activity of the glucosyltransferase was obtained when cell breakage, and subsequent steps in the preparation of the enzyme, were carried out in the presence of 25 microM GTP. A Km value for UDPglucose of 1.5-1.9 mM was obtained for the glucosyltransferase prepared in the presence or absence of GTP. 5. The glucosyltransferase reaction was not affected by ADPglucose, CDPglucose, GDPglucose or glucose 6-phosphate, but was competitively inhibited by TDPglucose. GDPglucose was not a glucosyl donor under the present conditions. 6. There was no evidence that the product was N-glycosidically linked to protein, since the reaction was neither enhanced in the presence of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, nor inhibited by tunicamycin. 7. The specific activity of the glucosyltransferase from 3-h-old filamentous cultures was about 1.5-times higher than that from 3-h-old budding cultures. 8. The specific activities of (1,3)-beta-D-glucan synthase prepared from budding and filamentous cultures of C. albicans during their first 90 min of growth were similar.