The photoperiod plays a central role in regulating the physiology and behavior of photosynthetic phytoplankton, and many of these processes are controlled by an underlying circadian rhythm. In dinoflagellates, circadian rhythms have been shown to depend largely on posttranscriptional regulation. However, the extent to which dinoflagellates modulate transcript levels to regulate gene expression in response to light and dark has not been addressed. Here we utilized an oligonucleotide microarray containing probes to 4629 unique genes from the Florida red-tide dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (C. C. Davis) G. Hansen et Moestrup to characterize global gene expression patterns over a 24 h day in cells exposed to a 16:8 light:dark cycle (LD treatment) and cells under constant light (LL treatment). We determined that 9.8% of the queried genes were differentially expressed during LD, while 3% of genes were differentially expressed over the 24 h day when exposed to LL. Most genes exhibited either peak or minimum expression in early dark phase. Of the 453 differentially expressed genes in LD, 104 were assigned predicted annotations based on BLASTX searches. Few of the identifiable genes that were differentially expressed in LD appear to be under circadian control, as their cyclical expression did not persist in LL. Analysis of coordinately expressed genes revealed several novel insights into dinoflagellate gene expression, including an unusually high representation of genes involved in post-transcriptional processing of RNA and protein turnover, the regulation of PSII genes in response to light and dark, and the absence of transcriptional regulation of cell-cycle genes.