Elicitor-induced production of the phytoalexin, 6-methoxymellein, in cultured carrot cells was appreciably depressed by the calmodulin inhibitors N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide and trifluoperazine. An inhibitor of Ca2+-phospholipid dependent protein kinase (protein kinase C), 1-(5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine, also inhibited the phytoalexin production in carrot. Both phorbol ester and synthetic diacylglycerol, activators of protein kinase C, showed an ability to induce 6-methoxymellein production even in the absence of elicitor. Phosphatidylinositol-degrading phospholipase activity increased in elicitor-treated carrot cells without a notable lag, and a product of this reaction, inositol trisphosphate, appeared to increase in parallel with the phospholipase activity. These results suggest that breakdown of phosphatidylinositol takes place in the elicitor-treated carrot cells. The messengers liberated from the phospholipid in the plasma membrane may participate in the elicitation process by controlling the activity of protein kinase C-like enzyme(s) and Ca2+-mediated processes including calmodulin.