Rice bacterial blight, caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), is one of the most serious rice diseases worldwide. A rice gene, Xa26, conferring resistance against Xoo at both seedling and adult stages was isolated by map-based cloning strategies from the rice cultivar Minghui 63. Xa26 belongs to a multigene family consisting of four members. It encodes a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptor kinase-like protein and is constitutively expressed. Sequence analysis revealed that IRBB3 and Zhachanglong lines that are resistant to a broad range of Xoo strains, also carry Xa26. However, significant difference in lesion length was observed among these lines after inoculation with a set of Xoo strains. Moreover, transgenic plants carrying Xa26 showed enhanced resistance compared with the donor line of the gene in both seedling and adult stages. These results suggest that the resistance conferred by Xa26 is influenced by the genetic background.