The purple sulphur phototrophic bacterium, Thiocapsa roseopersicina BBS, contains several NiFe hydrogenases. One of these enzymes (HynSL) is membrane associated, remarkably stable and can be used for practical applications. HupSL is also located in the photosynthetic membrane, its properties are similar to other known Hup-type NiFe hydrogenases. A third hydrogenase activity was located in the soluble fraction and was analogous to the NAD-reducing hydrogenases of cyanobacteria. The hoxEFUYH genes are transcribed together. HoxE is needed for the in vivo electron flow to and from the soluble hydrogenase. Some of the accessory genes were identified using random mutagenesis, and sequencing of the T. roseopersicina genome is in progress. The HupD, HynD and HoxW gene products corresponded to the proteases processing the C-termini of the three NiFe hydrogenases respectively. HypF and HupK mutants displayed significant in vivo H2 evolution, which could be linked to the nitrogenase activity for the ΔhypF and to the bidirectional Hox activity in the ΔhupK strain. Both HypC proteins are needed for the biosynthesis of each NiFe hydrogenase. The hydrogenase expression is regulated at the transcriptional level through distinct mechanisms. The expression of hynSL is up-regulated under anaerobic conditions with the participation of an FNR (fumarate and nitrate reduction regulator)-type protein, FnrT. Although the genes encoding a typical H2 sensor (hupUV) and a two-component regulator (hupR and hupT) are present in T. roseopersicina, the system is cryptic in the wild-type BBS strain. The hupR gene was identified in the gene cluster downstream from hupSL. Introduction of actively expressed hupT repressed the hupSL gene expression as expected by analogy with other bacteria.