||BACKGROUND: It is now well documented that moonlight affects the life cycle of invertebrates, birds, reptiles, and mammals. The lunisolar tide is also well-known to alter plant growth and development. However, although plants are known to be very photosensitive, few studies have been undertaken to explore the effect of moonlight on plant physiology. RESULTS: Here for the first time we report a massive transcriptional modification in Coffea arabica genes under full moonlight conditions, particularly at full moon zenith and 3 h later. Among the 3387 deregulated genes found in our study, the main core clock genes were affected. CONCLUSIONS: Moonlight also negatively influenced many genes involved in photosynthesis, chlorophyll biosynthesis and chloroplast machinery at the end of the night, suggesting that the full moon has a negative effect on primary photosynthetic machinery at dawn. Moreover, full moonlight promotes the transcription of major rhythmic redox genes and many heat shock proteins, suggesting that moonlight is perceived as stress. We confirmed this huge impact of weak light (less than 6 lx) on the transcription of circadian clock genes in controlled conditions mimicking full moonlight.