The physiology of a recombinant Chinese hamster ovary cell line in glucose-limited chemostat culture was studied over a range of dilution rates (D = 0.008 to 0.20 h−1). The specific growth rate (μ) deviated from D at low dilution rates due to an increased specific death rate. Extrapolation of these data suggested a minimum specific growth rate of 0.011 h−1 (μmax = 0.025 h−1) The metabolism at each steady state was characterized by determining the metabolic quotients for glucose, lactate, ammonia, amino acids, and interferon-γ (IFN-γ). The specific rate of glucose uptake increased linearly with μ, and the saturation constant for glucose (Ks) was calculated to be 59.6 μM. There was a linear increase in the rate of lactate production with a higher yield of lactate from glucose at high growth rates. The decline in the rate of production of lactate, alanine, and serine at low growth rate was consistent with the limitation of the glycolytic pathway by glucose. The specific rate of IFN-γ production increased with μ in a manner indicative of a growth-related product. Despite changes in the IFN-γ production rate and cell physiology, the pattern of IFN-γ glycosylation was similar at all except the lowest growth rates where there was increased production of nonglycosylated IFN-γ. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.