In rosette plants, the formation of initial flowers is closely linked to the lengthening of internodes (bolting). In order to clarify the molecular basis of bolting, mutants with reduced lengths of internodes were screened. This paper presents the identification and characterization of recessive mutations in ACAULIS5 (ACL5), a gene required for internodal growth in Arabidopsis thaliana. Unlike previously described mutants with reduced size of organs, the acl5 mutant has a severe defect that is restricted to the process of cell elongation after transition to the reproductive stage and shows no phenotype before floral induction. The results of RNA blot hybridizations showed that the acl5 mutation causes a striking reduction in the transcript levels of genes encoding the tonoplast intrinsic protein (gamma-TIP) and the endoxyloglucan transferase (EXGT-A1), both of which have recently been suggested to be important for cell elongation. Furthermore, our morphological study indicates that the mutation also causes proliferative arrest of the apical inflorescence meristem. These results strongly suggest that, during the reproductive phase, the wild-type ACL5 gene product has a critical function not only in the control of elongation growth of organs but also in the continued maintenance of the proliferative activity of flower-producing meristems.