COBRA-like proteins play important roles in cell expansion and cell wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. In rice, a COBRA-like gene, BRITTLE CULM1 (BC1), has been identified as a regulator controlling the culm mechanical strength. Analysis of the rice genome indicated that BC1 belongs to an 11-member multigene family, termed the OsBC1L family in this study. Based on sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analysis, the OsBC1L family comprises two main subgroups. Expression patterns examined by microarray and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction revealed that OsBC1L genes exhibit universal or specific expression patterns. Through T-DNA or Tos17 insertion mutant lines, the functions of six OsBC1L family members have been examined by investigating the phenotype variations of knockout mutants under normal growth conditions. Results suggest that the OsBC1L genes perform a range of functions and participate in various developmental processes in rice.