The importance of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in nature has been widely recognized for many years. However, little is known about the ecology of SRB. The problem has been detecting, classifying, and quantifying these organisms. There are many shortcomings in the use of culture media for this purpose. As an alternative, fluorescent antibody (FA) techniques were considered as a method for the detection and identification of SRB. Antisera were prepared against whole cells of different species of SRB and evaluated for detection and identification of these organisms. Surface antigens of SRB were species specific. In addition, culture conditions influenced the expression of surface antigens, causing the antisera to be extremely specific. These results were confirmed by the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyac-rylamide-gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) profiles of membrane proteins. On the basis of this specificity, the application of FA produced against culture collection strains would have limited application for detecting, identifying, and enumerating these organisms in nature.