This paper reports the characterization of novel mutations within the Arabidopsis thaliana HY4 gene, which has previously been shown to encode a protein (CRY1) with characteristics of a blue-light photoreceptor. Several point mutations were identified within the amino-terminal domain of CRY1--this region of CRY1 has high homology to photolyase and is likely to be involved in blue-light-mediated electron transfer. Mutations were found within the region of homology to the known chromophore binding domains of photolyase. Point mutations within the 200 amino acid carboxy-terminal extension distinguishing CRY1 from photolyase, likewise disrupt function of the protein. CRY1 was originally defined as the photoreceptor responsible for blue-light-mediated inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and we now report that anthocyanin accumulation in germinating seedlings is an additional phenotype under the control of this photoreceptor--this is shown to be mediated in part by modulation of mRNA levels of chalcone synthase, one of the anthocyanin biosynthetic enzymes. The effect of the novel mutations on both inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and anthocyanin biosynthesis have been evaluated, and it is demonstrated that mutations with less severe effects on hypocotyl elongation show a similarly reduced effect on anthocyanin biosynthesis. These results are consistent with the cryptochrome photoreceptor mediating multiple regulatory pathways by the same primary mode of action.