Summary Total cAMP levels were measured in the macroalgae Dictyota dichotoma, Gelidium sesquipedale and Ulva rigida under different light conditions in order to study its regulation either by phytochrome or photosynthesis. Incubation in red or far-red light did not promote a phytochrome-like response; instead, it showed a synergistic effect upon cAMP accumulation. cAMP levels seemed to depend on the amount of energy applied. The correlation between photosynthetic oxygen evolution and cAMP variations at sub-saturating white light irradiance pointed to photosynthetic electron transport as involved in the regulation of cAMP accumulation at least in G. sesquipedale and U. rigida. Inhibitors of thylakoidal and mitochondrial electron transport chains reduced cAMP levels in 70 to 99 percnt;. We conclude that cAMP accumulation could be regulated by photosynthetic activity rather than phytochrome in the macroalgae studied.