Adsorption reversibility and competition between fractionated components of the Trichoderma reesei cellulase system were studied. Specific endoglucanase (EGI), nonspecific endoglucanases (EGII, EGIII), and cellobio-hydrolase (CBHI) were previously grouped according to their hydrolytic function. At 5°C, direct evidence of exchange between adsorbed and free enzyme was obtained for each component using [3H] and [14C] radiolabeled tracers. No release of bound enzymes was detected upon dilution of the free enzyme solution. In simultaneous adsorption of enzyme pairs, CBHI was shown to predominate adsorption. Endoglucanase EGI was preferentially adsorbed over EGII and EGIII. Sequential adsorption studies have shown that interaction between enzyme components largely determines the degree of their adsorption. Evidence suggests that both common and distinct adsorption sites exist and that their occupation depends on which components are involved. Predominance in adsorption by any one of the enzyme components is decreased at 50°C. Light microscopy and monitoring of sugar production during cellulose hydrolysis provided evidence that reduction in the ionic strength decreases the adsorption predominance of CBHI and enhances the synergism between the cellulase components.