Light plays a pivotal role in the development of plants. The photoregulation of plant genes involves recognition of light quality and quantity by phytochrome and other light receptors. Two gene families, rbcS and Cab, which code for abundant proteins active in photosynthesis, the small subunit of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase and the chlorophyll a/b binding protein, show a 20-to 50-fold increase in transcript abundance in the light. Analyses in calli and transgenic plants of deletions of the rbcS gene and of chimeric constructions has allowed localization of two regions involved in light-induced transcription. One element is confined to a 33-base pair region surrounding the TATA box. In addition, an enhancer-like element contained within a 240-base pair fragment can confer phytochrome-induced transcription and organ specificity on nonregulated promoters.