Minute amounts of oxygen were supplied to a continuous cultivation of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris MG1363 grown on a defined glucose-limited medium at a dilution rate of 0.1 h(-1). More than 80% of the carbon supplied with glucose ended up in fermentation products other than lactate. Addition of even minute amounts of oxygen increased the yield of biomass on glucose by more than 10% compared to that obtained under anaerobic conditions and had a dramatic impact on catabolic enzyme activities and hence on the distribution of carbon at the pyruvate branch point. Increasing aeration caused carbon dioxide and acetate to replace formate and ethanol as catabolic end products while hardly affecting the production of either acetoin or lactate. The negative impact of oxygen on the synthesis of pyruvate formate lyase was confirmed. Moreover, oxygen was shown to down regulate the protein level of alcohol dehydrogenase while increasing the enzyme activity levels of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, alpha -acetolactate synthase, and the NADH oxidases. Lactate dehydrogenase and glyceraldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme activity levels were unaffected by aeration.