The properties and enzymic activity of endoglucanases (EC 126.96.36.199) of the fungus Trichoderma reesei were studied by means of immunological methods and by using polyglycosidic substrates. Endoglucanases exist in the culture liquid as a series of immunologically related components. The most active endoglucanase component has an Mr of 43 000 and pI value of 4.0. The most abundant components have a value of pI about 5.0, an Mr of 56 000-67 000 and specific activity only one-fifth of that of the pI-4.0 component. During purification and storage the endoglucanases are spontaneously modified; the relative proportion of components having greater Mr values, more alkaline pI values and lower specific activities is increased. The hexose content of the endoglucanase components is 2-7%. Endoglucanases hydrolyse soluble β-1,4 glycans. The enzymes described here differ from endoglucanase preparations described previously in not showing activity towards insoluble substrates. The role of endoglucanases in wood hydrolysis is consequently limited to the stage where wood constituents are already in soluble form.