Hydrolysis of L- and D-O-phosphothreonines catalyzed by four different phosphatases, alkaline phosphatases from calf intestine and E. coli and acid phosphatases from wheat germ and potato, has been kinetically studied. Alkaline phosphatases were found to have comparable reactivities towards the optical isomers. On the other hand, both acid phosphatases displayed a marked stereoselectivity, hydrolyzing the L-ester much faster than its D counterpart. Wheat germ acid phosphatase was the most stereoselective enzyme: VL/VD = 24 and Km,L/Km,D = 0.17. This enzyme was immobilized (in k-carrageenan gel, followed by crosslinking with glutaraldehyde) and used for the preparative resolution of D,L-threonine: the latter was first chemically O-phosphorylated and then asymmetrically hydrolyzed by the immobilized phosphatase. As a result, gram quantities of L-threonine of high optical purity and O-phospho-D-threonine were prepared. Immobilized wheat germ phosphatase has been tested for the resolution of other racemic alcohols: serine, 2-amino-1-butanol, 1-amino-2-propanol, 2-octanol, and menthol. In all those cases, the enzyme was either not sufficiently stereoselective or too slow for preparative resolutions.