Autotrophic fixation of carbon dioxide into cellular carbon occurs via several pathways but quantitatively, the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle is the most important. CbbR regulates the expression of the cbb genes involved in CO2 fixation via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle in a number of autotrophic bacteria. A gene potentially encoding CbbR (cbbR(AF)) has been predicted in the genome of the chemolithoautotrophic, extreme acidophile Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. However, this microorganism is recalcitrant to genetic manipulation impeding the experimental validation of bioinformatic predictions. Two novel functional assays were devised to advance our understanding of cbbR(AF) function using the mutated facultative autotroph Ralstonia eutropha H14 ΔcbbR as a surrogate host to test gene function: (i) cbbR(AF) was expressed in R. eutropha and was able to complement ΔcbbR; and (ii) CbbR(AF) was able to regulate the in vivo activity of four A. ferrooxidans cbb operon promoters in R. eutropha. These results open up the use of R. eutropha as a surrogate host to explore cbbR(AF) activity.