The tomato genes Pti4 and Pti5 encode ethylene-responsive element binding protein-like transcription factors that bind to the GCC box, a conserved cis-element in many defense-related genes. The Pti proteins have previously been shown to interact with the tomato disease resistance protein Pto. Here we report that the expression of both Pti4 and Pti5 are induced by a virulent strain of Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato. The expression of Pti5 is further enhanced by the interaction of the Pto gene in tomato and the corresponding avrPto gene in the bacterium. The enhancement of Pti5 expression by Pto-avrPto interaction requires a functional Prf gene in the plant. Pti5 appears to be expressed specifically during biotic stresses, suggesting a specific role in plant defense. Pti4 and several EREBP-like genes are induced by ethylene, salicylate and wounding. However, the Pseudomonas bacterium induced a wild-type level of Pti4 and Pti5 transcripts in tomato plants carrying the nahG transgene, the Nr mutation, or the def1 mutation. In addition, the ethylene action inhibitor norbornadiene did not inhibit the induction of Pti4 and Pti5 either in the compatible or incompatible interactions. The results suggest that the Pseudomonas bacterium induces Pti4 and Pti5 expression through a pathway independent of salicylic acid, ethylene and jasmonic acid.