In the discovery of some general principles of energy transduction, lactic acid bacteria have played an important role. In this review, the energy transducing processes of lactic acid bacteria are discussed with the emphasis on the major developments of the past 5 years. This work not only includes the biochemistry of the enzymes and the bioenergetics of the processes, but also the genetics of the genes encoding the energy transducing proteins. The progress in the area of carbohydrate transport and metabolism is presented first. Sugar translocation involving ATP-driven transport, ion-linked cotransport, heterologous exchange and group translocation are discussed. The coupling of precursor uptake to product product excretion and the linkage of antiport mechanisms to the deiminase pathways of lactic acid bacteria is dealt with in the second section. The third topic relates to metabolic energy conservation by chemiosmotic processes. There is increasing evidence that precursor/product exchange in combination with precursor decarboxylation allows bacteria to generate additional metabolic energy. In the final section transport of nutrients and ions as well as mechanisms to excrete undesirable (toxic) compounds from the cells are discussed.