This study presents plasmid systems that utilize regulatory signals of bacteriophage Lambda to accomplish regulated expression of cloned genes in an A. nidulans R2 derivative strain. An operator-promoter region and the temperature-sensitive repressor gene cI857 of bacteriophage Lambda were employed. Linked to a cyanobacterial replicon, the plasmid vectors efficiently transformed Anacystis and were stably maintained within this host. The cat structural gene, encoding chloramphenicol acetyltransferase, was used to demonstrate that expression can be regulated by temperature shift. We have identified in extracts from the vector bearing Anacystis, a protein similar in size and immunology to the Lambda repressor. The systems described should allow controlled expression of adventitious genes in the cyanobacterial host.