Phytochrome C (phyC) is a low-abundance member of the five-membered phytochrome family of photoreceptors in Arabidopsis. Towards developing an understanding of the photosensory and physiological functions of phyC, transgenic Arabidopsis plants were generated that over-express cDNA-encoded phyC and seedling responses to continuous white, red, or far-red light (Wc, Rc or FRc, respectively) were examined. Transgenic seedlings over-expressing phyC displayed enhanced inhibition of hypocotyl elongation in Rc, but were unchanged in responsiveness to FRc relative to wild-type. These data indicate that phyC has photosensory specificity that is similar to that of phyB and thus distinct from that of phyA. phyC overexpressors with levels only 3 to 4 times the level of endogenous phyC exhibited enhanced primary leaf expansion in Wc. This is in contrast to phyA or phyB overexpressors which respectively have levels that are 500- and 100-fold that of overexpressed phyC but showed no enhancement of primary leaf expansion. Therefore, phyC may have some physiological roles that are different to those of phyA and phyB in the control of seedling responses to light signals.