The plant hormone gibberellin (GA) is crucial for multiple aspects of plant growth and development. To study the relevant regulatory mechanisms, we isolated a rice mutant earlier flowering1, el1, which is deficient in a casein kinase I that has critical roles in both plants and animals. el1 had an enhanced GA response, consistent with the suppression of EL1 expression by exogenous GA(3). Biochemical characterization showed that EL1 specifically phosphorylates the rice DELLA protein SLR1, proving a direct evidence for SLR1 phosphorylation. Overexpression of SLR1 in wild-type plants caused a severe dwarf phenotype, which was significantly suppressed by EL1 deficiency, indicating the negative effect of SLR1 on GA signalling requires the EL1 function. Further studies showed that the phosphorylation of SLR1 is important for maintaining its activity and stability, and mutation of the candidate phosphorylation site of SLR1 results in the altered GA signalling. This study shows EL1 a novel and key regulator of the GA response and provided important clues on casein kinase I activities in GA signalling and plant development.