Rice glutelins consist of acidic (alpha) and basic (beta) subunits which are further separated into three polypeptide components assigned as alpha-1, alpha-2, and alpha-3 subunit components and beta-1, beta-2 and beta-3 subunit components. Nine rice mutant lines with a decreased amount of the glutelin alpha-2 subunit component (alpha-2L) were obtained by screening about 6,800 potential mutant lines derived from the fertilized egg treatment with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) using the SDS-PAGE method. The mutants were classified into three types of the increased alpha-1 subunit (alpha-1H/alpha-2L), the decreased beta-2 subunit (beta-2L/alpha-2L) and the increased alpha-3 subunit (alpha-3H/alpha-2L) represented by EM278, CM1707 and EM659, respectively. Iso-electric focus (IEF) analysis revealed that all of the mutants had an extremely low amount of a polypeptide with a 6.71 pI value, whereas a polypeptide with either a 6.50 pI value or with a 6.90 pI value increased significantly in alpha-1H/alpha-2L mutants or in alpha-3H/alpha-2L mutants, respectively. The beta-2L/alpha-2L mutants had a decreased amount of a basic polypeptide with a 8.74 pI value. Genetic analysis revealed that the three types of mutants were controlled by a single incomplete dominant gene respectively, and the three are alleles. The gene was temporarily named glu4, which was found to be located on chromosome 1 linked with the eg and spl6 genes. Two-dimensional electrophoresis analysis revealed that the glu4 encoded polypeptides of pI 6.71/alpha-2 and pI 8.74/beta-2. Amino acid sequence analysis suggested that the mutated acidic polypeptide was the product of a GluA subfamily gene. Northern and RT-PCR analyses revealed that glu4 corresponded to the GluA-1 gene.