Rhodobacter sphaeroides cytochrome c2 (cyt c2) is a periplasmic heme protein, encoded by cycA, that is required for photosynthetic growth and for one branch of the aerobic electron transport chain. cycA mRNA and cyt c2 are more abundant photosynthetically than aerobically. We report here that there are four cycA transcripts by high-resolution Northern (RNA) blot analysis, and we have mapped 10 5' ends by primer extension. Complementation of a cycA null mutant shows that there are at least two cycA promoters: one within 89 bp upstream of the translation initiation codon for a transcript beginning at -28, and at least one within 484 bp upstream for the remaining nine 5' ends. The 5' ends at -28 and -137 are more abundant in aerobically grown cells, while those at -38, -155, -250, and -300 are more abundant photosynthetically. DNA sequences with homology to the Escherichia coli σ70 consensus promoter sequence precede the 5' ends at -28 and -274, and there is weak homology upstream of the -82 and -250 ends.