The 4-kDa protein encoded by chloroplast petG copurifies with the cytochrome bf complex of spinach and is found in a number of other photosynthetic organisms, including the eukaryotic alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. To determine whether petG is involved in the function or assembly of the cytochrome bf complex, the gene was cloned from C. reinhardtii, excised from the DNA fragment, and replaced with a spectinomycin resistance cassette. A petG deletion strain of C. reinhardtii was then obtained by biolistic transformation. The resulting homoplasmic petG deletion strains are unable to grow photosynthetically, and immunoblot analysis shows markedly decreased levels of cytochrome b6, cytochrome f, the Rieske iron-sulfur protein, and subunit IV. To verify that this phenotype was due to the removal of petG, we also constructed a strain with a deletion in the open reading frame (ORF56), which is found 25 base pairs downstream of petG. The ORF56 deletion strain grew photosynthetically and had wild-type levels of the four major cytochrome bf subunits. We conclude that the absence of the PetG protein affects either the assembly or stability of the cytochrome bf complex in C. reinhardtii.