Anoxygenicphotosynthetic prokaryotes have simplified photosystems that represent ancient lineages that predate the more complex oxygen evolving photosystems present in cyanobacteria and chloroplasts. These organisms thrive under illuminated anaerobic photosynthetic conditions, but also have the ability to grow under dark aerobic respiratory conditions. This study provides a detailed snapshot of transcription ground states of both dark aerobic and anaerobic photosynthetic growth modes in the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobactercapsulatus. Using 18 biological replicates for aerobic and photosynthetic states, we observed that 1834 genes (53 % of the genome) exhibited altered expression between aerobic and anaerobic growth. In comparison with aerobically grown cells, photosynthetically grown anaerobic cells showed decreased transcription of genes for cobalamin biosynthesis (−45 %), iron transport and homeostasis (−42 %), motility (−32 %), and glycolysis (−34 %). Conversely and more intuitively, the expression of genes involved in carbon fixation (547 %), bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis (162 %) and carotenogenesis (114 %) were induced. We also analysed the relative contributions of known global redox transcription factors RegA, FnrL and CrtJ in regulating aerobic and anaerobic growth. Approximately 50 % of differentially expressed genes (913 of 1834) were affected by a deletion of RegA, while 33 % (598 out of 1834) were affected by FnrL, and just 7 % (136 out of 1834) by CrtJ. Numerous genes were also shown to be controlled by more than one redox responding regulator.