Certain mutations of the model cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 during laboratory storage have resulted in some divergent phenotypes. One laboratory-stored strain (H1) shows a temperature-sensitive (ts) growth phenotype at 40 °C. Here, we investigated the reason for this temperature sensitivity. Whole genome sequencing of H1 identified a single nucleotide mutation in synpcc7942_R0040 encoding tRNA-Leu(CAA). The mutation decreases the length of the tRNA-Leu t-arm from 5 to 4 base pairs, and this explains the ts phenotype. Secondary mutations suppressing the ts phenotype were identified in synpcc7942_1640, which putatively encodes a NYN domain-containing protein (nynA). The NYN domain is thought to be involved in tRNA/rRNA degradation. Thus, the structural stability of tRNA-Leu is critical for growth at 40 °C in Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942.