To further explore the function of NADH-dependent glutamate synthase (GOGAT), the tissue distribution of NADH-GOGAT protein and activity was investigated in rice (Oryza sativa L.) leaves. The distributions of ferredoxin (Fd)-dependent GOGAT, plastidic glutamine synthetase, and cytosolic glutamine synthetase proteins were also determined in the same tissues. High levels of NADH-GOGAT protein (33.1 μg protein/g fresh weight) and activity were detected in the 10th leaf blade before emergence. The unexpanded, nongreen portion of the 9th leaf blade contained more than 50% of the NADH-GOGAT protein and activity per gram fresh weight when compared with the 10th leaf. The expanding, green portion of the 9th leaf blade outside of the sheath contained a slightly lower abundance of NADH-GOGAT protein than the nongreen portion of the 9th blade on a fresh weight basis. The fully expanded leaf blades at positions lower than the 9th leaf had decreased NADH-GOGAT levels as a function of increasing age, and the oldest, 5th blade contained only 4% of the NADH-GOGAT protein compared with the youngest 10th leaf blade. Fd-GOGAT protein, on the other hand, was the major form of GOGAT in the green tissues, and the highest amount of Fd-GOGAT protein (111 μg protein/g fresh weight) was detected in the 7th leaf blade. In the nongreen 10th leaf blade, the content of Fd-GOGAT protein was approximately 7% of that found in the 7th leaf blade. In addition, the content of NADH-GOGAT protein in the 10th leaf blade was about 4 times higher than that of Fd-GOGAT protein. The content of plastidic glutamine synthetase polypeptide was also the highest in the 7th leaf blade (429 μg/g fresh weight) and lowest in nongreen blades and sheaths. On the other hand, the relative abundance of the cytosolic glutamine synthetase polypeptide was the highest in the oldest leaf blade, decreasing to 10 to 20% of that value in young, nongreen leaves. These results suggest that NADH-GOGAT is important for the synthesis of glutamate from the glutamine that is transported from senescing source tissues through the phloem in the nongreen sink tissues in rice leaves.