Carboxysomes, containing the cell's complement of RuBisCO surrounded by a specialized protein shell, are a central component of the cyanobacterial CO(2)-concentrating mechanism. The ratio of two forms of the β-carboxysomal protein CcmM (M58 and M35) may affect the carboxysomal carbonic anhydrase (CcaA) content. We have over-expressed both M35 and M58 in the β-cyanobacterium Synechococcus PCC7942. Over-expression of M58 resulted in a marked increase in the amount of this protein in carboxysomes at the expense of M35, with a concomitant increase in the observed CcaA content of carboxysomes. Conversely, M35 over-expression diminished M58 content of carboxysomes and led to a decrease in CcaA content. Carboxysomes of air-grown wild-type cells contained slightly elevated CcaA and M58 content and slightly lower M35 content compared to their 2% CO(2)-grown counterparts. Over a range of CcmM expression levels, there was a strong correlation between M58 and CcaA content, indicating a constant carboxysomal M58:CcaA stoichiometry. These results also confirm a role for M58 in the recruitment of CcaA into the carboxysome and suggest a tight regulation of M35 and M58 translation is required to produce carboxysomes with an appropriate CA content. Analysis of carboxysomal protein ratios, resulting from the afore-mentioned over-expression studies, revealed that β-carboxysomal protein stoichiometries are relatively flexible. Determination of absolute protein quantities supports the hypothesis that M35 is distributed throughout the β-carboxysome. A modified β-carboxysome packing model is presented.