Abstract The unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (Syn6803) exhibits photomovement through gliding motility. For a better understanding of photomovement in Syn6803, we examined the effects of Ca2+ on photoorientation and motility using a computer-assisted videomicroscope motion analysis system. When calcium ion was chelated from the basic motility medium by adding 0.5 mM ethylene glycol-bis-(β-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid (EGTA), the photoorientation was completely inhibited, whereas the gliding motility remained approximately 70% of the control. Photoorientation impaired by EGTA was nearly recovered within 30 min upon addition of 1 mM Ca2+. The recovery of photoorientation by Ca2+ was mimicked by either Mn2+ or Mg2+ but not by Ba2+ or Sr2+. Lanthanum ion at 10 μM completely inhibited both phototactic orientation and gliding motility of Syn6803. Furthermore, pimozide (voltage-gated L-type calcium channel inhibitor), orthovanadate (calcium efflux blocker) and A23187 (calcium ionophore) partially inhibited phototactic orientation and gliding motility. Interestingly, photoorientation was prevented with increasing concentrations of calmodulin antagonist such as trifluoperazine (TFP) and chlorpromazine, but gliding motility was inhibited in proportion to the concentration of TFP. The results we present strongly indicate that Ca2+ plays a significant role in regulating the photomovement of Syn6803.