The effect of various carbohydrates including glucose, mannose, ribose, galactose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, dextrin, starch, cane and beet molasses on the growth of Saccharopolyspora erythraea and erythromycin production was investigated in a complex medium consisting soybean flour and ammonium sulfate as the main components. Fermentation conditions were 11 days incubation, 240 rpm shaking, 30oC and pH 6.8. The biomass and erythromycin concentrations were measured on a daily basis. The results obtained showed that the erythromycin concentration in the media containing mono/disaccharides were less than that of in the dextrin containing medium. Maximum growth of the strain was obtained in the glucose-containing medium. Growth of the strain in the media containing sucrose, beet and cane molasses was also high, but less than that of in the glucose containing medium. Highest erythromycin concentration was obtained in the dextrin-containing medium (0.66g/l). Growth of the strain and erythromycin production in the media containing pentose were less than that of in the hexose containing media. At the end of fermentation, minimum concentration of the carbohydrates was obtained in the glucose-containing medium. Highest concentration of unused carbohydrates was obtained in the pentose containing media.