Tomato plants infected with the citrus exocortis viroid exhibited strongly elevated levels of a compound identified as 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (gentisic acid, GA) 5-O-beta-D-xylopyranoside. The compound accumulated early in leaves expressing mild symptoms from both citrus exocortis viroid-infected tomato, and prunus necrotic ringspot virus-infected cucumber plants, and progressively accumulated concomitant with symptom development. The work presented here demonstrates that GA, mainly associated with systemic infections in compatible plant-pathogen interactions [Bellés, J.M., Garro, R., Fayos, J., Navarro, P., Primo, J., Conejero, V., 1999. Gentisic acid as a pathogen-inducible signal, additional to salicylic acid for activation of plant defenses in tomato. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 12, 227-235], is conjugated to xylose. Notably, this result contrasts with those previously found in other plant-pathogen interactions in which phenolics analogues of GA as benzoic or salicylic acids, are conjugated to glucose.