A rice tiller is a specialized grain-bearing branch that contributes greatly to grain yield. The MONOCULM 1 (MOC1) gene is the first identified key regulator controlling rice tiller number; however, the underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated. Here we report a novel rice gene, Tillering and Dwarf 1 (TAD1), which encodes a co-activator of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C), a multi-subunit E3 ligase. Although the elucidation of co-activators and individual subunits of plant APC/C involved in regulating plant development have emerged recently, the understanding of whether and how this large cell-cycle machinery controls plant development is still very limited. Our study demonstrates that TAD1 interacts with MOC1, forms a complex with OsAPC10 and functions as a co-activator of APC/C to target MOC1 for degradation in a cell-cycle-dependent manner. Our findings uncovered a new mechanism underlying shoot branching and shed light on the understanding of how the cell-cycle machinery regulates plant architecture.