Cryptochromes are blue light receptors that regulate light responses in plants, including various crops. The molecularmechanism of plant cryptochromes has been extensively investigated in Arabidopsis thaliana, but it has not been reported in any crop species. Here, we report a study of the mechanism of soybean (Glycine max) cryptochrome2 (CRY2a). We found that CRY2a regulates leaf senescence, which is a life history trait regulated by light and photoperiods via previously unknown mechanisms. We show that CRY2a undergoes blue light-dependent interaction with the soybean basic helix-loop-helix transcription activator CIB1 (for cryptochrome-interacting bHLH1) that specifically interacts with the E-box (CANNTG) DNA sequences. Analyses of transgenic soybean plants expressing an elevated or reduced level of the CRY2a or CIB1 demonstrate that CIB1 promotes leaf senescence, whereas CRY2a suppresses leaf senescence. Results of the gene expression and molecular interaction analyses support the hypothesis that CIB1 activates transcription of senescence-associated genes, such as WRKY DNA BINDING PROTEIN53b (WRKY53b), and leaf senescence. CIB1 interacts with the E-box-containing promoter sequences of the WRKY53b chromatin, whereas photoexcited CRY2a interacts with CIB1 to inhibit its DNA binding activity. These findings argue that CIBdependent transcriptional regulation is an evolutionarily conserved CRY-signaling mechanism in plants, and this mechanism is opted in evolution to mediate light regulation of different aspects of plant development in different plant species. © 2013 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.