Several genes are known to regulate circadian rhythms in Arabidopsis, but the identity of the central oscillator has not been established. LHY and CCA1 are related MYB-like transcription factors proposed to be closely involved. Here we demonstrate that, as shown previously for CCA1, inactivation of LHY shortens the period of circadian rhythms in gene expression and leaf movements. By constructing lhy cca1-1 double mutants, we show that LHY and CCA1 are partially redundant and essential for the maintenance of circadian rhythms in constant light. Under light/dark cycles the lhy cca1-1 plants show dramatically earlier phases of expression of GI and TOC1, genes associated with the generation of circadian rhythms and the promotion of LHY and CCA1 expression. We conclude that LHY and CCA1 appear to be negative regulatory elements required for central oscillator function.