Thylakoid membranes of cyanobacteria and plants contain enzymes that function in diverse metabolic reactions. Many of these enzymes and regulatory proteins are associated with the membranes as peripheral proteins. To identify these proteins, we separated and identified the peripheral proteins of thylakoid membranes of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)-acetone extraction was used to enrich samples with peripheral proteins and to remove integral membrane proteins. The proteins were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. More than 200 proteins were detected on the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) gel that was stained with colloidal Coomassie blue. We analyzed 116 spots by peptide mass fingerprinting and identified 78 spots that were derived from 51 genes. Some proteins were found in multiple spots, indicating differential modifications resulting in charge differences. Therefore, a significant fraction of the peripheral proteins in thylakoid membranes is modified post-translationally. In our analysis, products of 17 hypothetical genes could be identified in the peripheral protein fraction. Therefore, proteomic analysis is a powerful tool to identify location of the products of hypothetical genes and to characterize complexity in gene expression due to post-translational modifications.