In tobacco, two mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, designated salicylic acid (SA)-induced protein kinase (SIPK) and wounding-induced protein kinase (WIPK) are activated in a disease resistance-specific manner following pathogen infection or elicitor treatment. To investigate whether nitric oxide (NO), SA, ethylene, or jasmonic acid (JA) are involved in this phenomenon, the ability of these defense signals to activate these kinases was assessed. Both NO and SA activated SIPK; however, they did not activate WIPK. Additional analyses with transgenic NahG tobacco revealed that SA is required for the NO-mediated induction of SIPK. Neither JA nor ethylene activated SIPK or WIPK. Thus, SIPK may function downstream of SA in the NO signaling pathway for defense responses, while the signals responsible for resistance-associated WIPK activation have yet to be determined.