A blue light (cryptochrome) photoreceptor from Arabidopsis, cry1, has been identified recently and shown to mediate a number of blue light-dependent phenotypes. Similar to phytochrome, the cryptochrome photoreceptors are encoded by a gene family of homologous members with considerable amino acid sequence similarity within the N-terminal chromophore binding domain. The two members of the Arabidopsis cryptochrome gene family (CRY1 and CRY2) overlap in function, but their proteins differ in stability: cry2 is rapidly degraded under light fluences (green, blue, and UV) that activate the photoreceptor, but cry1 is not. Here, we demonstrate by overexpression in transgenic plants of cry1 and cry2 fusion constructs that their domains are functionally interchangeable. Hybrid receptor proteins mediate functions similar to cry1 and include inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and blue light-dependent anthocyanin accumulation; differences in activity appear to be correlated with differing protein stability. Because cry2 accumulates to high levels under low-light intensities, it may have greater significance in wild-type plants under conditions when light is limited.