The Rhodobacter capsulatus BchI protein is one of three subunits of Mg chelatase, the enzyme which catalyzes the first committed step of chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis. The BchI protein was produced with an inducible T7 RNA polymerase expression system in Escherichia coli. The protein was purified from the soluble cell-extract fraction and crystallized from polyethylene glycol solution. The crystals diffract to a minimum Bragg spacing of 2.1 A. The space group is P63 with unit-cell dimensions a = b = 90.6, c = 84.1 A.