The genes psbB, psbH, petB and petD for the components in photosystem II and the cytochrome b6/f complex are clustered and co-transcribed in liverwort Marchantia polymorpha chloroplasts. On the opposite DNA strand in the spacer region between the genes psbB and psbH, we deduced an open reading frame consisting of 43 sense codons, and designated it as the ORF43 gene. The ORF43 gene was actively transcribed in liverwort chloroplasts. The ORF43 transcripts were entirely complementary to a part of the primary transcripts of the psbB operon. Heterogeneous Northern hybridization showed that the mRNA transcripts for the ORF43 gene increased with greening in pea seedlings. This is the first demonstration of divergent overlapping transcription in chloroplasts.