Recognition of avirulent microbial pathogens activates an oxidative burst leading to the accumulation of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs), which are thought to integrate a diverse set of defence mechanisms resulting in the establishment of plant disease resistance. A novel transgenic Arabidopsis line containing a gst1:luc transgene was developed and employed to report the temporal and spatial dynamics of ROI accumulation and cognate redox signalling in response to attempted infection by avirulent strains of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst). Strong engagement of the oxidative burst was dependent on the presence of functional Pst hrpS and hrpA gene products. Experiments employing pharmacological agents suggested that at least two distinct sources, including an NADPH oxidase and a peroxidase-type enzyme, contributed to the generation of redox cues. The analysis of gst1 and pal1 gene expression in nahG, coi1 and etr1 plants suggested that engagement of the oxidative burst and cognate redox signalling functioned independently of salicylic acid, methyl jasmonate and ethylene. In contrast, studies using a panel of protein kinase and phosphatase inhibitors and in-gel kinase assays in these mutant backgrounds suggested that a 48 kDa mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity was required for the activation of gst1 and pal1 in response to redox cues. Thus the engagement of a bifurcating redox signalling pathway possessing a MAPK module may contribute both to the establishment of plant disease resistance, and to the development of cellular protectant mechanisms.