Penicillium chrysogenum is an economically important ascomycete used as industrial producer of penicillin. However, with the exception of penicillin biosynthesis genes, little attention has been paid to the genetics of other aspects of the metabolism of this fungus. In this article we describe the first attempt of systematic analysis of expressed genes in P. chrysogenum, using a suppression subtractive hybridization approach to clone and identify sequences of genes differentially expressed in media with glucose or lactose as carbon source (penicillin-repressing or non-repressing conditions). A total of 167 clones were analysed, 95 from the glucose condition and 72 from the lactose condition. Genes differentially expressed in the glucose condition encode mainly proteins involved in the mitochondrial electron transport chain and primary metabolism. Genes expressed differentially in lactose-containing medium include genes for secondary metabolism (pcbC, isopenicillin N synthase), different hydrolases and a gene encoding a putative hexose transporter or sensor. The results provided information on how the metabolism of this fungus adapts to different carbon sources. The expression patterns of some of the genes support the hypothesis that glucose induces higher rates of respiration in P. chrysogenum while repressing secondary metabolism.