Herpetomonas roitmani, a trypanosomatid containing a bacterial endosymbiont, was cured by high doses of chloramphenicol. Wild-type and cured flagellates were compared as to polysaccharide composition, nutritional requirements and cellular differentiation. Fucose (18.0%), xylose (15.7%), mannose (38.9%), galactose (10.8%), glucose (16.4%) and inositol (< 1.0%) were identified as polysaccharide components of cured H. roitmani as assessed by gas-liquid chromatography. However, the wild-type strain displayed a markedly different sugar profile, in that xylose was absent and inositol preferentially synthesized, whereas the other monosaccharide components remained unchanged. Variations in nutritional pattern also occurred between both strains. The bacterial endosymbiont seems to provide the flagellates with nutritional factors, including usual amino acids, vitamins, purine (as adenine) and hemin. The process of cell differentiation was also significantly influenced by the endosymbiont. Opisthomastigote forms predominate (72.0%) in cured as compared with wild-type H. roitmani (37.0%).