A disruptive mutant of the sll0033 gene of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 produced primarily cis carotenes and small amounts of all-trans carotenes, but no xanthophylls, under dark conditions. Under light conditions, however, it produced normal carotenoids, that were the same as those produced by wild-type cells grown under both light and dark conditions. When the mutant cells cultured under dark conditions were irradiated, cis-isomers of carotenes were converted to all-trans lycopene. These findings demonstrate that this gene, designated crtH, is involved in the isomerization of cis-carotenes to all-trans forms in dark conditions, and that cis-carotenes were also converted to all-trans forms under light conditions by photoisomerization.