The Arabidopsis genome contains six NPR1-related genes. Given the pivotal role played by NPR1 in controlling salicylic acid (SA)-mediated gene expression and disease resistance, functional characterization of other family members appears to be justified. Reverse genetics was used to analyze the role of one NPR1-like gene, which we called NPR4. The NPR4 protein shares 36% identity with NPR1 and interacts with the same spectrum of TGA transcription factors in yeast two-hybrid assays. Plants with T-DNA insertions in NPR4 are more susceptible to the virulent bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringe pv. tomato DC3000. This phenotype is complemented by expression of the wild type NPR4 coding region. As determined by the parasite reproduction, the npr4-1 mutant is more susceptible to the fungal pathogen Erysiphe cichoracearum, but does not differ markedly from wild type in its interaction with virulent and avirulent strains of the oomycete Peronospora parasitica. In leaves of wild-type plants, NPR4 mRNA levels increase following pathogen challenge or SA treatment, and decrease rapidly following methyl jasmonic acid (MeJA) treatment. Transcripts of the pathogenesis-related (PR) genes PR-1, PR-2, and PR-5 are only marginally reduced in the npr4-1 mutant following pathogen challenge or SA treatment. This reduction of PR gene expression is more pronounced when leaves are challenged with the bacterial pathogen following SA treatment. Expression of the jasmonic acid-dependent pathway marker gene PDF1.2 is compromised in npr4-1 leaves following application of MeJA or a combination of SA and MeJA. These results indicate that NPR4 is required for basal defense against pathogens, and that it may be implicated in the cross-talk between the SA- and JA-dependent signaling pathways.