Leaf senescence is a unique developmental process that is characterized by massive programmed cell death and nutrient recycling. The underlying molecular regulatory mechanisms are not well understood. Here we report the functional analysis of AtNAP, a gene encoding a NAC family transcription factor. Expression of this gene is closely associated with the senescence process of Arabidopsis rosette leaves. Leaf senescence in two T-DNA insertion lines of this gene is significantly delayed. The T-DNA knockout plants are otherwise normal. The mutant phenotype can be restored to wild-type by the intact AtNAP, as well as by its homologs in rice and kidney bean plants that are also upregulated during leaf senescence. Furthermore, inducible overexpression of AtNAP causes precocious senescence. These data strongly suggest that AtNAP and its homologs play an important role in leaf senescence in Arabidopsis and possibly in other plant species.