The molecular events associated with susceptible plant responses to disease-causing organisms are not well understood. We have previously shown that ethylene-insensitive tomato plants infected with Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria have greatly reduced disease symptoms relative to wild-type cultivars. Here we show that salicylic acid (SA) is also an important component of the susceptible disease response. SA accumulates in infected wild-type tissues and is correlated with necrosis but does not accumulate in ethylene-insensitive plants. Exogenous feeding of SA to ethylene-deficient plants restores necrosis, indicating that reduced disease symptoms are associated with failure to accumulate SA. These results indicate a mechanism for co-ordination of phytohormone signals that together constitute a susceptible response to pathogens.