pcb genes, encoding proteins binding light-harvesting chlorophylls, were cloned and sequenced from the Chl d-containing cyanobacterium, Acaryochloris marina, and the Chl b-containing cyanobacterium, Prochloron didemni. Both organisms contained two tandem pcb genes. Peptide fingerprinting confirmed the expression of one of the A. marina pcb genes. Phylogenetic tree reconstruction using distance-matrix and maximum-likelihood methods indicated a single origin of the pcb gene family, whether occurring in Chl b-containing or Chl d-containing organisms. This may indicate widespread lateral transfer of the Pcb protein-based light-harvesting system.