Two hundred genes or 3% of the known or putative protein-coding genes of the filamentous freshwater cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 encode domains of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. Detailed characterization of some of these transporters (14-15 importers and 5 exporters) has revealed their crucial roles in the complex lifestyle of this multicellular photoautotroph, which is able to differentiate specialized cells for nitrogen fixation. This review summarizes the characteristics of the ABC transporters of Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 known to date.