The innate immune system allows plants to respond to potential pathogens in an appropriate manner while minimizing damage and energy costs. Photosynthesis provides a sustained energy supply and, therefore, has to be integrated into the defense against pathogens. Although changes in photosynthetic activity during infection have been described, a detailed and conclusive characterization is lacking. Here, we addressed whether activation of early defense responses by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) triggers changes in photosynthesis. Using proteomics and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements, we show that activation of defense by PAMPs leads to a rapid decrease in nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). Conversely, NPQ also influences several responses of PAMP-triggered immunity. In a mutant impaired in NPQ, apoplastic reactive oxygen species production is enhanced and defense gene expression is differentially affected. Although induction of the early defense markers WRKY22 and WRKY29 is enhanced, induction of the late markers PR1 and PR5 is completely abolished. We propose that regulation of NPQ is an intrinsic component of the plant's defense program.