RNAs larger than about 6 S prepared from etioplasts of dark-grown maize seedlings, and from plastids at later stages of light-induced development, were labeled in vitro and hybridized to separated fragments of maize chloroplast DNA digested with endonucleases. The major nonribosomal RNA present in developing plastids, but virtually undetectable in etioplasts, hybridizes to chloroplast DNA Bam fragment 8 and has been mapped on the maize plastid chromosome. Other aliquots of RNA from plastids were translated in a rabbit reticulocyte-derived system. Developing plastids, and mature chloroplasts, but not etioplasts, contain mRNA for an approximately 34,500 dalton polypeptide. The simultaneous appearance, during light-induced maize plastid development, of RNA which hybridizes to Bam 8 and is translated into a 34,500 dalton protein indicates that photoregulated expression of a single gene is being observed.