The endogenous plant hormones salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA), whose levels increase on pathogen infection, activate separate sets of genes encoding antimicrobial proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana. The pathogen-inducible genes PR-1, PR-2, and PR-5 require SA signaling for activation, whereas the plant defensin gene PDF1.2, along with a PR-3 and PR-4 gene, are induced by pathogens via an SA-independent and JA-dependent pathway. An Arabidopsis mutant, coi1, that is affected in the JA-response pathway shows enhanced susceptibility to infection by the fungal pathogens Alternaria brassicicola and Botrytis cinerea but not to Peronospora parasitica, and vice versa for two Arabidopsis genotypes (npr1 and NahG) with a defect in their SA response. Resistance to P. parasitica was boosted by external application of the SA-mimicking compound 2, 6-dichloroisonicotinic acid [Delaney, T., et al. (1994) Science 266, 1247-1250] but not by methyl jasmonate (MeJA), whereas treatment with MeJA but not 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid elevated resistance to Alternaria brassicicola. The protective effect of MeJA against A. brassicicola was the result of an endogenous defense response activated in planta and not a direct effect of MeJA on the pathogen, as no protection to A. brassicicola was observed in the coi1 mutant treated with MeJA. These data point to the existence of at least two separate hormone-dependent defense pathways in Arabidopsis that contribute to resistance against distinct microbial pathogens.