Shoot architecture and flowering time in angiosperms depend on the balanced expression of a large number of flowering time and flower meristem identity genes. Loss-of-function mutations in the Arabidopsis EMBRYONIC FLOWER (EMF) genes cause Arabidopsis to eliminate rosette shoot growth and transform the apical meristem from indeterminate to determinate growth by producing a single terminal flower on all nodes. We have identified the EMF1 gene by positional cloning. The deduced polypeptide has no homology with any protein of known function except a putative protein in the rice genome with which EMF1 shares common motifs that include nuclear localization signals, P-loop, and LXXLL elements. Alteration of EMF1 expression in transgenic plants caused progressive changes in flowering time, shoot determinacy, and inflorescence architecture. EMF1 and its related sequence may belong to a new class of proteins that function as transcriptional regulators of phase transition during shoot development.