Chlorophyll (Chl) synthase catalyzes esterification of chlorophyllide to complete the last step of Chl biosynthesis. Although the Chl synthases and the corresponding genes from various organisms have been well characterized, Chl synthase mutants have not yet been reported in higher plants. In this study, a rice (Oryza Sativa) Chl-deficient mutant, yellow-green leaf1 (ygl1), was isolated, which showed yellow-green leaves in young plants with decreased Chl synthesis, increased level of tetrapyrrole intermediates, and delayed chloroplast development. Genetic analysis demonstrated that the phenotype of ygl1 was caused by a recessive mutation in a nuclear gene. The ygl1 locus was mapped to chromosome 5 and isolated by map-based cloning. Sequence analysis revealed that it encodes the Chl synthase and its identity was verified by transgenic complementation. A missense mutation was found in a highly conserved residue of YGL1 in the ygl1 mutant, resulting in reduction of the enzymatic activity. YGL1 is constitutively expressed in all tissues, and its expression is not significantly affected in the ygl1 mutant. Interestingly, the mRNA expression of the cab1R gene encoding the Chl a/b-binding protein was severely suppressed in the ygl1 mutant. Moreover, the expression of some nuclear genes associated with Chl biosynthesis or chloroplast development was also affected in ygl1 seedlings. These results indicate that the expression of nuclear genes encoding various chloroplast proteins might be feedback regulated by the level of Chl or Chl precursors.