In Arabidopsis, EDS1 is essential for disease resistance conferred by a structural subset of resistance (R) proteins containing a nucleotide-binding site, leucine-rich-repeats and amino-terminal similarity to animal Toll and Interleukin-1 (so-called TIR-NBS-LRR proteins). EDS1 is not required by NBS-LRR proteins that possess an amino-terminal coiled-coil motif (CC-NBS-LRR proteins). Using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of a Nicotiana benthaminana EDS1 orthologue, we investigated the role of EDS1 in resistance specified by structurally distinct R genes in transgenic N. benthamiana. Resistance against tobacco mosaic virus mediated by tobacco N, a TIR-NBS-LRR protein, was EDS1-dependent. Two other R proteins, Pto (a protein kinase), and Rx (a CC-NBS-LRR protein) recognizing, respectively, a bacterial and viral pathogen did not require EDS1. These data, together with the finding that expression of N. benthamiana and Arabidopsis EDS1 mRNAs are similarly regulated, lead us to conclude that recruitment of EDS1 by TIR-NBS-LRR proteins is evolutionarily conserved between dicotyledenous plant species in resistance against bacterial, oomycete and viral pathogens. We further demonstrate that VIGS is a useful approach to dissect resistance signaling pathways in a genetically intractable plant species.