A recessive pale mutation, designated as cs, was identified by transferred-DNA (T-DNA)-mediated insertional mutagenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. The pale mutation, cosegregating with the hygromycin resistance marker of the T-DNA, was mapped to the position of the ch-42 (chlorata) locus on chromosome 4. Lack of genetic complementation between cs and ch-42 mutants indicated allelism. Plant boundaries of the T-DNA insert rescued from the pale mutant were used as probes for the isolation of genomic and full-length cDNA clones of the wild-type cs gene. Transformation of the pale mutant with T-DNA vectors carrying these clones resulted in a normal green phenotype, thus demonstrating positive complementation of the T-DNA induced mutation. DNA sequence comparison of the cs mutant and its wild-type allele revealed that the T-DNA insertion occurred 11 bp upstream of the stop codon. A fusion protein, seven amino acids longer than its wild-type counterpart of Mr 46,251, is therefore synthesized in the pale mutant. Transcript analysis during dark-light transition, in vitro protein transport assay, and the absence of DNA sequence homology between cs and known genes indicates that the light regulated expression of the cs gene results in the synthesis of a novel chloroplast protein.