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To characterize autolysis and autolytic system of the lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus pentosus.Autolysis of nine Lact. pentosus strains was evaluated in buffer solution. Their peptidoglycan hydrolase profiles were examined by renaturing SDS-PAGE and revealed two major activity bands at 58 and 112 kDa. Specificity analysis indicated the presence of at least two different types of peptidoglycan hydrolase activities in Lact. pentosus 1091.Autolysis of Lact. pentosus was shown to be strain dependent and involvement of at least two different autolysins was evidenced.The autolytic system of Lact. pentosus was characterized for the first time and the data obtained could be used in the selection of strains of technological interest.