A 2,158 bp cDNA (PyBPO1) encoding a bromoperoxidase (BPO) of 625 amino acids was isolated from Pyropia yezoensis. Phylogenetic analysis using amino acid sequences of BPOs suggested that P. yezoensis and cyanobacteria were grouped in the same clade and separated from brown algae. Genomic Southern blot analysis suggested that PyBPO1 existed as a single copy per haploid genome. RT-PCR revealed that PyBPO1 was actively expressed in filamentous sporophytes but repressed in leafy gametophytes under normal growth conditions. High expression levels of PyBPO1 in sporophytes were observed when sporophytes were grown under gametophyte conditions, suggesting that preferential expression of PyBPO1 occurs during the sporophyte phase. BPO activity of cell-free extracts from sporophytes and gametophytes was examined by activity staining on native PAGE gel using o-dianisidine. One activity band was detected in sporophyte sample, but not in gametophyte sample. In addition, we found that bromide and iodide were effective substrate, but chloride was not. BPO activity was observed-likely in chloroplasts-when sporophyte cells were incubated with o-dianisidine and hydrogen peroxide. Cellular BPO staining showed the same halogen preference identified by in-gel BPO staining. Based on GS-MS analysis, bromoform was detected in medium containing sporophytes. Bromoform was not detected under dark culture conditions but was detected in the culture exposed to low light intensity (5 mu mol m(-2) s(-1)) and increased under a moderate light intensity (30 mu mol m(-2) s(-1)).