In contrast to phytochrome-, cryptochrome- and phototropin-sensing systems, about which considerable knowledge has accumulated, the ultraviolet-B (UVB) photoreceptor is not yet known at the molecular level. Information about the downstream signalling events that underlie UVB-provoked physiological responses is limited. Recent whole-genome transcript profiling, isolation of mutants that are impaired in specific UVB-induced responses and detailed photobiological studies suggest that responses that are triggered by shorter wavelength UVB and longer wavelength UVB are mediated by two different sensory systems. The bZIP transcription factor HY5 was recently identified as an important player in the long-wavelength UVB-induced signal transduction cascade. Advances in the development of luciferase-reporter lines will make it feasible to perform high-throughput genetic screens to isolate novel mutants that are impaired in sensing or transducing signals downstream of the putative UVB photoreceptor(s).