Systemic acquired resistance is a long-lasting and broad-spectrum disease resistance to pathogens. Our previous study demonstrated that overexpression of NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES1 (OsNPR1), a master gene for systemic acquired resistance in rice (Oryza sativa), greatly enhanced resistance to bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv oryzae However, the growth and development of the OsNPR1 overexpression (OsNPR1-OX) plants were restrained, and the mechanism remained elusive. In this study, we dissected the OsNPR1-induced growth inhibition. We found that the OsNPR1-OX lines displayed phenotypes mimicking auxin-defective mutants, with decreases in root system, seed number and weight, internode elongation, and tiller number. Whole-genome expression analysis revealed that genes related to the auxin metabolism and signaling pathway were differentially expressed between the OsNPR1-OX and wild-type plants. Consistently, the indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) content was decreased and the auxin distribution pattern was altered in OsNPR1-OX plants. Importantly, we found that some GH3 family members, in particular OsGH3.8 coding IAA-amido synthetase, were constitutively up-regulated in OsNPR1-OX plants. Decreased OsGH3.8 expression by RNA interference could partially restore IAA level and largely rescue the restrained growth and development phenotypes but did not affect the disease resistance of OsNPR1-OX plants. Taken together, we revealed that OsNPR1 affects rice growth and development by disrupting the auxin pathway at least partially through indirectly up-regulating OsGH3.8 expression.