We have determined the photosynthetic production of dissolved (DOCp) and particulate organic carbon (POCp) along a longitudinal transect in the Mediterranean Sea during the summer stratification period. The euphotic layer-integrated rates of DOCp and POCp ranged between approximately 50–130 and 95–210 mgC m 2 d 1, respectively, and showed an east to west increasing trend. For the whole transect, the relative contribution of DOCp to total, euphotic layer-integrated primary production (percentage of extracellular release, PER) averaged ~37% and did not show any clear longitudinal pattern. In spite of the relatively high PER values, the measured DOCp rates were much lower than the estimated bacterial carbon demand, suggesting a small degree of coupling between phytoplankton exudation and bacterial metabolism. Our results, when compared with previous measurements obtained with the same methods in several ecosystems of contrasting productivity, support the view that the relative importance of DOCp increases under strong nutrient limitation.