Five new alleles of the Arabidopsis chalcone synthase (CHS) locus, tt4, have been characterized at the gene, protein, and end product levels as a genetic approach to understanding structure-function relationships in a key enzyme of plant secondary metabolism. Together with two previously described mutants, these tt4 lines represent one of the first allelic series for a central enzyme of the flavonoid pathway and include both null alleles and alleles with leaky, apparently temperature-sensitive, phenotypes. A variety of effects on accumulation of CHS protein and flavonoid glycosides were observed among these lines, including alterations in the apparent stability and activity of the enzyme. Assembly of the CHS homodimer also appeared to be impacted in several cases. A three-dimensional model of the Arabidopsis CHS protein, based on the recently determined structure for alfalfa CHS, predicts significant effects on protein structure or folding for several of the mutations. This allelic series should provide a useful genetic resource for ongoing studies of flavonoid enzyme structure, function, and subcellular organization.