According to previous reports, Lactococcus lactis imports glucose via two distinct phosphoenolpyruvate: phosphotransferase systems (mannose-PTS and cellobiose-PTS) and one or more unknown non-PTS permease(s). GlcU was identified as the sole non-PTS permease involved in the transport of glucose. Additionally, the biochemical properties of PTSMan, PTSCel and GlcU were characterized in double knockout mutants with glucose uptake restricted to a single system. Transport susceptibility to protonophores indicated that glucose uptake via GlcU is proton-motive force dependent. Competition assays revealed a high specificity of GlcU for glucose. Furthermore, the permease has low affinity for glucose and displays strong preference for the beta-anomer as shown by the profiles of consumption of the two glucose anomers studied by C-13-NMR. Similar kinetic properties were found for PTSCel, while PTSMan is a high-affinity system recognizing equally well the two anomeric forms of glucose. Transcripts of the genes encoding the three transporters are present simultaneously in the parent strain NZ9000 as shown by reverse transcription-PCR. Investigation of the distribution of GlcU homologues among bacteria showed that these proteins are restricted to the low-GC Gram-positive Firmicutes. This work completes the identification of the glucose transport systems in L. lactis MG1363.