Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is the most popular cyanobacterial model for prokaryotic photosynthesis and for metabolic engineering to produce biofuels. Genomic and transcriptomic comparisons between closely related bacteria are powerful approaches to infer insights into their metabolic potentials and regulatory networks. To enable a comparative approach, we generated the draft genome sequence of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6714, a closely related strain of 6803 (16S rDNA identity 99.4\%) that also is amenable to genetic manipulation. Both strains share 2838 protein-coding genes, leaving 845 unique genes in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and 895 genes in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6714. The genetic differences include a prophage in the genome of strain 6714, a different composition of the pool of transposable elements, and a ∼40 kb genomic island encoding several glycosyltransferases and transport proteins. We verified several physiological differences that were predicted on the basis of the respective genome sequence. Strain 6714 exhibited a lower tolerance to Zn2+ ions, associated with the lack of a corresponding export system and a lowered potential of salt acclimation due to the absence of a transport system for the re-uptake of the compatible solute glucosylglycerol. These new data will support the detailed comparative analyses of this important cyanobacterial group than has been possible thus far. Genome information for Synechocystis sp. PCC 6714 has been deposited in Genbank (accession no AMZV01000000).