Geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS, EC: 18.104.22.168) catalyzes the biosynthesis of geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP), which is a key precursor for diterpenes including Taxol, one of the most potent antitumor drugs. In order to investigate the role of GGPP synthase in taxol biosynthesis, we cloned, characterized and functionally expressed the GGPP synthase gene from Taxus media. A 3743-bp genomic sequence of T. media was isolated by genome walking strategy which contained an 1182-bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 393-amino acid polypeptide that showed high similarity to other plant GGPPSs. Subsequently the full-length cDNA of the GGPPS gene of T. media (designated TmGGPPS) was amplified by RACE. Bioinformatic analysis showed that TmGGPPS was an intron-free gene and its deduced polypeptide contained all the five conserved domains and functional aspartate-rich motifs of the prenyltransferases. By constructing the phylogenetic tree of plant GGPPSs, it was found that plant-derived GGPPSs could be divided into two classes, angiosperm and gymnosperm classes, which might have evolved in parallel from the same ancestor. To our knowledge this was the first report that the geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase genes were free of intron and evolved in parallel between angiosperms and gymnosperms. The coding sequence of TmGGPPS was expressed in yeast mutant (SFNY368) lacking of GGPP synthase activity through functional complementation, and the transgenic yeast showed to have activity of GGPP synthase. This was also the first time to use SFNY368 to identify the function of plant-derived GGPPSs. Furthermore, investigation of the impact of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) on the expression of TmGGPPS revealed that MeJA-treated T. media cultured cells had much higher expression of TmGGPPS than untreated cells.