Beyond their essential function as the building blocks of proteins, amino acids contribute to many aspects of plant biochemistry and physiology. Despite this, there are relatively large gaps in our understanding of the biochemical pathways and regulation of amino acid synthesis in plants. A rapid (1.5 min versus 20-90 min for standard methods) HPLC-MS/MS assay for separating 19 amino acids was developed for quantifying levels of free amino acids in plant tissue. This assay was used to determine the free amino acid content in the seeds of 10,000 randomly mutagenized Arabidopsis lines, and 322 Arabidopsis lines with increased levels of one or more amino acids were identified. The heritability of the mutant phenotype was confirmed for 43 lines with increased seed levels of the aspartate-derived amino acids Ile, Lys, Thr, or Met. Genetic mapping and DNA sequencing identified a mutation in an Arabidopsis threonine aldolase (AT1G08630, EC 18.104.22.168) as the cause of increased seed Thr levels in one mutant. The assay that was developed for this project has broad applicability to Arabidopsis and other plant species.