We have cloned six fluorescent proteins homologous to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from Aequorea victoria. Two of these have spectral characteristics dramatically different from GFP, emitting at yellow and red wavelengths. All the proteins were isolated from nonbioluminescent reef corals, demonstrating that GFP-like proteins are not always functionally linked to bioluminescence. The new proteins share the same beta-can fold first observed in GFP, and this provided a basis for the comparative analysis of structural features important for fluorescence. The usefulness of the new proteins for in vivo labeling was demonstrated by expressing them in mammalian cell culture and in mRNA microinjection assays in Xenopus embryos.