The aerial parts of plants are coated with an epicuticular wax layer, which is important as a first line of defense against external influences. In Arabidopsis, the ECERIFERUM (CER) genes effect different steps of the wax biosynthesis pathway. In this article, we describe the isolation of the CER1 gene, which encodes a novel protein involved in the conversion of long chain aldehydes to alkanes, a key step in was biosynthesis. CER1 was cloned after gene tagging with the heterologous maize transposable element system Enhancer-Inhibitor, also known as Suppressor-mutator. cer1 mutants display glossy green stems and fruits and are conditionally male sterile. The similarity of the CER1 protein with a group of integral membrane enzymes, which process highly hydrophobic molecules, points to a function of the CER1 protein as a decarbonylase.