The phytopathogenic pseudomonad Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola causes halo blight of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Initiation of infection depends on the ability of the cells to adhere to the target cell surface. P. syringae pv. phaseolicola expresses pili, which are the receptors of the lipid-containing dsRNA bacteriophage phi 6. phi 6-resistant bacterial strains can be divided into different piliation types. It was possible to show that the adhesion of the bacteria onto plant cell surface was dependent on the pili. Non-piliated bacterial stains showed a much lower adherence to the leaf surface than strains expressing phi 6 specific pili. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the piliated bacteria attached to the leaf surface at the site of stomata. Non-piliated bacteria were evenly distributed on the leaf surface. All bacterial strains used in this study were capable of causing halo blight if injected into the plant. If the bacteria were sprayed on the plants, followed by spraying of sterile buffer, only piliated bacteria caused symptoms.