The rice (Oryza sativa L.) lesion mimic and senescence (lms) EMS-mutant, identified in a japonica cultivar Hitomebore, is characterized by a spontaneous lesion mimic phenotype during its vegetative growth, an accelerated senescence after flowering, and enhanced resistance to rice blast (Magnaporthe oryzae). To isolate the OsLMS gene, we crossed the lms mutant to Kasalath (indica), and used mutant F(2) plants to initially map the candidate region to about 322-kb on the long arm of chromosome 2. Illumina whole-genome re-sequencing of the mutant and aligning the reads to Hitomebore reference sequence within the candidate region delineated by linkage analysis identified a G to A nucleotide substitution. The mutation corresponded to the exon-intron splicing junction of a novel gene that encodes a carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) phosphatase domain and two double stranded RNA binding motifs (dsRBM) containing protein. By PCR amplification, we confirmed that the mutation causes splicing error that is predicted to introduce a premature stop codon. RNA interference (RNAi) transgenic lines with suppressed expression of LMS gene exhibited the lesion mimic phenotype, confirming that the mutation identified in LMS is responsible for the mutant phenotype. OsLMS shares a moderate amino-acid similarity to the Arabidopsis FIERY2/CPL1 gene, which is known to control many plant processes such as stress response and development. Consistence with this similarity, the lms mutant shows sensitivity to cold stress at the early growth stage, suggesting that LMS is a negative regulator of stress response in rice.