2-methyl-4-amino-5-hydroxymethylpyrimidine phosphate kinase/thiamin monophosphate pyrophosphorylase (HMPPK/TMPPase) is a key enzyme involved in thiamin biosynthesis. A candidate HMPPK/TMPPase gene identified in the Arabidopsis genome complemented the thiamin auxotrophy of the th1 mutant, thus proving that the th1 locus corresponds to the structural gene for the HMPPK/TMPPase. Sequence comparisons between the wild-type HMPPK/TMPPase gene and the th1-201 mutant allele identified a single point mutation that caused the substitution of a phenylalanine for a conserved serine residue in the HMPPK domain. Functional analyses of the mutant HMPPK/TMPPase in Escherichia coli revealed that the amino acid substitution in the HMPPK domain of mutant enzyme resulted in a conformational change that severely compromised both activities of the bifunctional enzyme. Studies were also performed to identify the chloroplast as the specific subcellular locale of the Arabidopsis HMPPK/TMPPase.