A review, with refs. When mentioning prokaryotic metabolic engineering, most people will immediately think of Jay Bailey. Jay's contribution to this fast-growing field is evident and familiar to many. Therefore, instead of a detailed tech. review, we attempt in this article to summarize his contribution and dissect reasons for his success in this area from a standpoint of one of his former students (VH) and of a colleague in the field (JCL). This short review is by no means complete and provides only a partial view of Jay's contribution to the metabolic engineering of prokaryotes. [on SciFinder (R)]