The gene hspA for the heat-shock protein HSP100 is induced by blue light and heat shock in the zygomycete fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus. We have investigated the molecular details of the regulation of hspA gene transcription. We have cloned 1.9 kb of hspA upstream DNA sequence and identified many DNA segments possibly involved in heat-shock and blue-light regulation. We have identified several gene products required for hspA photoactivation and found that they are also required for mycelial photoresponses, a suggestion for a common signal transduction pathway. In addition, we have found that beta-carotene, or a chemical derivative, is required for hspA gene photoactivation. The activation of hspA after blue light-exposure or a heat shock is transient, suggesting the adaptation to the stimulus. The adaptation of hspA photoactivation seems to be the result of a novel mechanism causing a light-dependent loss of gene transcription. We propose that a reduction in the amount of MADA, a putative flavin-binding zinc-finger protein, in light-exposed mycelia may cause a reduced hspA photoactivation, providing a simple explanation for adaptation to light.