Senescence at the right time is important for crop yield. In this issue Lin et al. (pp.971–982) showed in rice that RLS3 plays a critical role in sustaining leaf longevity. RLS3 is expressed in various tissues, with the highest level in mesophyll cells. Overexpression of RLS3 prolonged leaf longevity and sustained normal growth, while loss of RLS3 function caused premature leaf senescence and retarded growth.