To clarify the relative importance of pH and substrate starch level in fermentation characteristics and regulatory mechanism of Streptococcus bovis S1 in rumen acidosis, an in vitro fermentation of three levels of soluble starch (1, 3 and 9 g/L) was established with pH in the media were maintained constant at 5.5 or 6.5. The results showed that the dominant product of S. bovis S1 was lactate at both pH, the production depended on the starch level, and more lactate was produced at pH 6.5 than that at pH 5.5 (P < 0.001). At pH 5.5, the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and α-amylase (α-AMY), their abundances, the relative expressions of LDH, PFL (gene encoding pyruvate formate-lyase), CCPA (gene encoding global catabolite control protein A) and α-AMY genes were higher than those at pH 6.5 (P < 0.05), whereas the concentration of fructose-1,6-diphosphate (FDP) was lower. The activity of LDH, α-AMY and FDP, and the relative expressions of LDH, PFL, CCPA and α-AMY genes were, in general, positively related to the starch level. The canonical regression analysis indicated that the pH had more profound effect compared with the starch level, in terms of the acid productions, enzyme activity and gene expressions. It was concluded that the fermentation of S. bovis was regulated at the transcription level in response to both pH and substrate starch concentration, but more sensitive to pH changes.