Global transcriptional responses to dehydration and rehydration were determined in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. Nearly 300 genes were up- or downregulated during both dehydration and rehydration. While as many as 133 genes showed dehydration-specific downregulation, only 29 genes showed dehydration-specific upregulation. In contrast, while only 13 genes showed rehydration-specific downregulation, as many as 259 genes showed rehydration-specific upregulation. The genes upregulated during rehydration responded rapidly and transiently, whereas those upregulated during dehydration did so gradually and persistently. The expression of various genes involved in DNA repair, protein folding and NAD synthesis, as well as genes responding to nitrogen depletion and CO2 limitation, was upregulated during rehydration. Although no genes for transcriptional regulators showed dehydration-specific upregulation, eight showed rehydration-specific upregulation. Among them, two genes, ancrpB and alr0618, encode putative transcriptional activators of the cAMP receptor protein (CRP) family. DNA microarray analysis using gene disruptants revealed that AnCrpB and Alr0618 regulate the genes induced by nitrogen depletion and by CO2 limitation, respectively. We conclude that rehydration is a complex process in which the expression of certain genes, particularly those for metabolism, is dramatically induced.