A novel rice mutant, lesion mimic and early senescence 1 (lmes1), was induced from the rice 93-11 cultivar in a γ-ray field. This mutant exhibited spontaneous disease-like lesions in the absence of pathogen attack at the beginning of the tillering stage. Moreover, at the booting stage, lmes1 mutants exhibited a significantly increased MDA but decreased chlorophyll content, soluble protein content and photosynthetic rate in the leaves, which are indicative of an early senescence phenotype. The lmes1 mutant was significantly more resistant than 93-11 against rice bacterial blight infection, which was consistent with a marked increase in the expression of three resistance-related genes. Here, we employed a map-based cloning approach to finely map the lmes1 gene. In an initial mapping with 94 F2 individuals derived from a cross between the lmes1 mutant and Nipponbare, the lmes1 gene was located in a 10.6-cM region on the telomere of the long arm of chromosome 7 using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. To finely map lmes1, we derived two F2 populations with 940 individuals from two crosses between the lmes1 mutant and two japonica rice varieties, Nipponbare and 02428. Finally, the lmes1 gene was mapped to an 88-kb region between two newly developed inDel markers, Zl-3 and Zl-22, which harbored 15 ORFs.