The hydrogenase enzyme occurring in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is induced by anaerobic adaptation of the cells. In aerobically growing cells, antibodies against the hydrogenase failed to detect either active or inactive enzyme. However, already 10 min after the onset of anaerobic adaptation, the protein could be detected. The maximal amount of enzyme was reached after 2-3 hours anaerobiosis. Addition of nickel or iron to the growth medium did not influence activity. In atomic absorption experiments, a Ni/Fe ratio of about 1:250 was measured. We, therefore, propose the hydrogenase from C. reinhardtii to be of the Fe-only type. Adaptation in the presence of uncouplers of phosphorylation showed this process to be energy-dependent. From protein synthesis inhibition experiments, it is concluded that the protein is synthesized on cytoplasmic ribosomes and, therefore, must be nuclear encoded. After isolation of intact chloroplasts from adapted cells, the active enzyme was shown, by Western-blotting analysis, to be located in the chloroplasts.