A full-length cDNA clone (cEFE-26) encoding ethylene-forming enzyme (EFE) was isolated from a cDNA library, prepared from leaves of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)-infected tobacco cultivar Samsun NN. The cDNA clone encodes a protein with 90% amino acid sequence similarity to established EFEs of tomato and other plants. By using cEFE-26 cDNA and the insert from cDNA clone pACC13 (B. A. Bailey, A. Avni, N. Li, A. K. Mattoo, and J. D. Anderson, Plant Physiol. 100:1615-1616, 1992) encoding tobacco 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase as probes, it was established that tobacco contains small gene families for these proteins. Furthermore, RNA blot analyses indicated that transcript levels in leaves for the two ethylene pathway genes were elevated after infection with TMV. The results are discussed in relation to a possible signalling role of ethylene in induced resistance and gene expression for pathogenesis-related proteins.