The cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 exhibited circadian rhythms in complete darkness. To monitor a circadian rhythm of the Synechocystis cells in darkness, we introduced a PdnaK1::luxAB gene fusion (S. Aoki, T. Kondo, and M. Ishiura, J. Bacteriol. 177:5606-5611, 1995), which was composed of a promoter region of the Synechocystis dnaK1 gene and a promoterless bacterial luciferase luxAB gene set, as a reporter into the chromosome of a dark-adapted Synechocystis strain. The resulting dnaK1-reporting strain showed bioluminescence rhythms with a period of 25 h (on agar medium supplemented with 5 mM glucose) for at least 7 days in darkness. The rhythms were reset by 12-h-light-12-h-dark cycles, and the period of the rhythms was temperature compensated for between 24 and 31 degrees C. These results indicate that light is not necessary for the oscillation of the circadian clock in Synechocystis.