The expression of the gsiB gene of Bacillus subtilis in response to a wide variety of stress conditions was analysed, and the results provide evidence that gsiB is subject to a sigma B-dependent regulation. Primer extension experiments established identical start points for gsiB transcription during growth and after the induction by heat shock, salt or ethanol stress, and glucose limitation. The sequence upstream of the transcription start point shows great similarity to the sequences of sigma B-dependent promoters of B. subtilis. sigma B was absolutely required for the increase in gsiB mRNA level and in the synthesis rate of GsiB in response to various stimuli. Measurements of the ATP pool indicated that changes in the level of ATP might be one of the signals that regulate the activity of sigma B in B. subtilis.