Lactofen belongs to the diphenylether class of herbicides, which targets protoporphyrinogen oxidase, which in turn causes singlet oxygen generation. In tolerant plants like soybean (Glycine max), the chemical nonetheless causes necrotic patches called "bronzing" in contact areas. Here it is shown that such bronzing is accompanied by cell death, which was quantified from digital microscopic images using Assess Software. Cellular autofluorescence accompanied cell death, and a homolog of the cell death marker gene, Hsr203j, was induced by lactofen in treated soybean tissues. Thus, this form of chemically induced cell death shares some hallmarks of certain types of programmed cell death. In addition to the cell death phenotype, lactofen caused enhanced expressions of chalcone synthase and chalcone reductase genes, mainly in the exposed and immediately adjacent (proximal) cells. Furthermore, isoflavone synthase genes, which are wound inducible in soybean, were up-regulated by lactofen in both proximal and distal cell zones in minimally wounded cotyledons and further enhanced in wounded tissues. Moreover, if the wall glucan elicitor from Phytophthora sojae was present during lactofen treatment, the induction of isoflavone synthase was even more rapid. These results are consistent with the fact that lactofen triggers massive isoflavone accumulations and activates the capacity for glyceollin elicitation competency. In addition, lactofen induces late expression of a selective set of pathogenesis-related (PR) protein genes, including PR-1a, PR-5, and PR-10, mainly in treated proximal tissues. These various results are discussed in the context of singlet oxygen-induced responses and lactofen's potential as a disease resistance-inducing agent.