Cryptochrome 1 (CRY1) is a flavin-type blue type receptor of Arabidopsis thaliana which mediates inhibition of hypocotyl elongation. In the work described in this report it is demonstrated that CRY1 is a soluble protein expressed in both young seedlings grown either in the dark or under light, and in different organs of adult plants. The functional role of CRY1 was further investigated using transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing CRY1. It is demonstrated that overexpression of CRY1 resulted in hypersensitivity to blue, UV-A, and green light for the inhibition of hypocotyl elongation response. Transgenic plants overexpressing CRY1 also exhibited a dwarf phenotype with reduced size in almost every organ. This was in keeping with the previous observation of reciprocal alterations found in hy4 mutant plants and is consistent with a hypothesis that CRY1 mediates a light-dependent process resulting in a general inhibitory effect on plant growth. In addition, transgenic plants overexpressing CRY1 showed increased anthocyanin accumulation in response to blue, UV-A, and green light in a fluence rate-dependent manner. This increase in anthocyanin accumulation in transgenic plants was shown to be concomitant with increased blue light-induction of CHS gene expression. It is concluded that CRY1 is a photoreceptor mediating blue light-dependent regulation of gene expression in addition to its affect on plant growth.