Multiple molecular forms of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) were detected by activity staining in non-denaturing polyacrylamide gels of cell-free extracts from a range of cyanobacteria including Anabaena sp. PCC 7120, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942, Plectonema boryanum PCC 73110, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, Nostoc sp. MAC PCC 8009 and the marine strain Synechococcos sp. WH7803. In most of the species tested, the profile of G6PDH activities was modulated by the growth of the cells in the presence of exogenous 10 mM glucose. Using an antiserum raised against a fragment of G6PDH from Anabaena sp. PCC 7120, it was shown that the different molecular forms of G6PDH all contained an antigenically related subunit, suggesting that the different forms arose from different quaternary structures involving the same monomer. An insertion mutant of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 was constructed in which the opcA gene, adjacent to zwf(encoding G6PDH), was disrupted. Although no reduction in the amount of G6PDH monomers (Zwf) was observed in the opcA mutant, activity staining of native gels indicated that most of this protein is not assembled into one of the active oligomeric forms. The oligomerization of G6PDH in extracts of the opcA mutant was stimulated in vitro by a factor present in crude extracts of the wild-type, suggesting that the product of the opcA gene is involved in the oligomerization and activation of G6PDH.