NADPH:protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (POR) catalyzes photoreduction of protochlorophyllide (Pchlide) to chlorophyllide in chlorophyll (Chl) synthesis, and is required for prolamellar body (PLB) formation in etioplasts. Rice faded green leaf (fgl) mutants develop yellow/white leaf variegation and necrotic lesions during leaf elongation in field-grown plants. Map-based cloning revealed that FGL encodes OsPORB, one of two rice POR isoforms. In fgl, etiolated seedlings contained smaller PLBs in etioplasts, and lower levels of total and photoactive Pchlide. Under constant or high light (HL) conditions, newly emerging green leaves rapidly turned yellow and formed lesions. Increased levels of non-photoactive Pchlide, which acts as a photosensitizer, may cause reactive oxygen accumulation and lesion formation. OsPORA expression is repressed by light and OsPORB expression is regulated in a circadian rhythm in short-day conditions. OsPORA was expressed at high levels in developing leaves and decreased dramatically in fully mature leaves, whereas OsPORB expression was relatively constant throughout leaf development, similar to expression patterns of AtPORA and AtPORB in Arabidopsis. However, OsPORB expression is rapidly upregulated by HL treatment, similar to the fluence rate-dependent regulation of AtPORC. This suggests that OsPORB function is equivalent to both AtPORB and AtPORC functions. Our results demonstrate that OsPORB is essential for maintaining light-dependent Chl synthesis throughout leaf development, especially under HL conditions, whereas OsPORA mainly functions in the early stages of leaf development. Developmentally and physiologically distinct roles of monocot OsPORs are discussed by comparing with those of dicot AtPORs.