Gbeta5 exists as two splice variants, Gbeta5-S and Gbeta5-L, which interact with and stabilize the R7 members of the regulators of G-protein signaling (RGSs): RGS6, RGS7, RGS9, and RGS11. Although the role of Gbeta5-L and RGS9-1 is established in photoreceptors, the physiological functions of Gbeta5-S and other R7 RGS proteins remain unclear. We found that the electroretinogram of Gbeta5-/- mice lacks the b-wave component and that Gbeta5-S and RGS11 colocalize with Go alpha at the tips of the ON-bipolar cell dendrites. Unexpectedly, we found a significant reduction in the number of synaptic triads in the outer plexiform layer (OPL) of the Gbeta5-/- mice, which is evident at postnatal day 14. Transgenic expression of Gbeta5-L in rods failed to rescue the b-wave or the OPL defects. These results indicate that Gbeta5-S is indispensable for OPL integrity and normal light responses of the retina.