UNLABELLED:β-N-Acetylhexosaminidases have attracted interest particularly for oligosaccharide synthesis, but their use remains limited by the rarity of enzyme sources , low efficiency, and relaxed regioselectivity of transglycosylation. In this work, genes of 13 β-N-acetylhexosaminidases, including 5 from Bacteroides fragilis ATCC 25285, 5 from Clostridium perfringens ATCC 13124, and 3 from Bifidobacterium bifidum JCM 1254, were cloned and heterogeneously expressed in Escherichia coli The resulting recombinant enzymes were purified and screened for transglycosylation activity. A β-N-acetylhexosaminidase named BbhI, which belongs to glycoside hydrolase family 20 and was obtained from B. bifidum JCM 1254, possesses the bifunctional property of efficiently transferring both GalNAc and GlcNAc residues through β1-3 linkage to the Gal residue of lactose. The effects of initial substrate concentration, pH, temperature, and reaction time on transglycosylation activities of BbhI were studied in detail. With the use of 10 mM pNP-β-GalNAc or 20 mM pNP-β-GlcNAc as the donor and 400 mM lactose as the acceptor in phosphate buffer (pH 5.8), BbhI synthesized GalNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4Glc and GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4Glc at maximal yields of 55.4% at 45°C and 4 h and 44.9% at 55°C and 1.5 h, respectively. The model docking of BbhI with lactose showed the possible molecular basis of strict regioselectivity of β1-3 linkage in β-N-acetylhexosaminyl lactose synthesis.IMPORTANCE:Oligosaccharides play a crucial role in many biological events and therefore are promising potential therapeutic agents. However, their use is limited because large-scale production of oligosaccharides is difficult. The chemical synthesis requires multiple protecting group manipulations to control the regio- and stereoselectivity of glycosidic bonds. In comparison, enzymatic synthesis can produce oligosaccharides in one step by using glycosyltransferases and glycosidases. Given the lower price of their glycosyl donor and their broader acceptor specificity, glycosidases are more advantageous than glycosyltransferases for large-scale synthesis. β-N-Acetylhexosaminidases have attracted interest particularly for β-N-acetylhexosaminyl oligosaccharide synthesis, but their application is affected by having few enzyme sources, low efficiency, and relaxed regioselectivity of transglycosylation. In this work, we describe a microbial β-N-acetylhexosaminidase that exhibited strong transglycosylation activity and strict regioselectivity for β-N-acetylhexosaminyl lactose synthesis and thus provides a powerful synthetic tool to obtain biologically important GalNAcβ1-3Lac and GlcNAcβ1-3Lac.