In ANABAENA: PCC 7119 a 4-fold decrease in the value of the apparent photosynthetic affinity for external inorganic carbon [K1/2 (Ci)] occurred between 9 and 12 h after the transfer from high-CO2 (2% CO2-enriched air) to air-growing conditions. A slight increase in carboxysome frequency occurred, but during this transition their appearance and distribution remained unchanged. ANABAENA: PCC 7119 did not improve its K1/2 (Ci) beyond the above cited level of acclimation neither by culturing the cyanobacteria in Na+-deficient medium in air nor by aeration with CO2-depleted air. In air-grown cultures, Na+ deficiency induced a large increase in carboxysome frequency and an alteration of their appearance: the greatest proportion were electron-dense whereas this type constituted a minority in high-CO2 and in air, Na+-sufficient conditions. It also induced major changes in carboxysome distribution, whereby more than 60% were grouped, compared with only 10% in high-CO2 and in air, Na+-sufficient conditions. These changes in carboxysome expression were extremely rapid, occurring mainly during the first 2 h.