Arabidopsis accessions were screened with isolates of Phytophthora porri originally isolated from other crucifer species. The described Arabidopsis-Phytophthora pathosystem shows the characteristics of a facultative biotrophic interaction similar to that seen in agronomically important diseases caused by Phytophthora species. In susceptible accessions, extensive colonization of the host tissue occurred and sexual and asexual spores were formed. In incompatible combinations, the plants reacted with a hypersensitive response (HR) and the formation of papillae at the sites of attempted penetration. Defence pathway mutants such as jar1 (jasmonic acid-insensitive), etr1 (ethylene receptor mutant) and ein2 (ethylene-insensitive) remained resistant towards P. porri. However, pad2, a mutant with reduced production of the phytoalexin camalexin, was hyper-susceptible. The accumulation of salicylic acid (SA) and PR1 protein was strongly reduced in pad2. Surprisingly, this lack of SA accumulation does not appear to be the cause of the hyper-susceptibility because interference with SA signalling in nahG plants or sid2 or npr1 mutants had only a minor effect on resistance. In addition, the functional SA analogue benzothiadiazol (BTH) did not induce resistance in susceptible plants including pad2. Similarly, the complete blockage of camalexin biosynthesis in pad3 did not cause susceptibility. Resistance of Arabidopsis against P. porri appears to depend on unknown defence mechanisms that are under the control of PAD2.