Proteolytic strains ofButyrivibrio alactacidigens, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Selenomonas ruminantium, andStreptococcus bovis grew markedly better in medium containing casein as sole nitrogen source when they were inoculated in pairs rather than singly, when growth was poor or nil. The improved growth ofSelenomonas ruminantium with other species was a consequence of a faster rate of proteolysis by the mixed culture. The cooperativity withStreptococcus bovis was mediated by the extracellular activity ofSelenomonas ruminantium. Synergistic growth betweenBu. alactacidigens and other bacteria was not due to cooperativity between proteolytic activities but probably to nutritional interdependence between the species. Cooperative proteolysis also occurred in mixtures ofSelenomonas ruminantium andBacteroides ruminicola, a proteolytic isolate capable of growth on casein in monoculture.