The expression patterns of plant defense genes encoding osmotin and osmotin-like proteins imply a dual function in osmotic stress and plant pathogen defense. We have produced transgenic potato (Solanum commersonii Dun.) plants constitutively expressing sense or antisense RNAs from chimeric gene constructs consisting of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter and a cDNA (pA13) for an osmotin-like protein. Transgenic potato plants expressing high levels of the pA13 osmotin-like protein showed an increased tolerance to the late-blight fungus Phytophthora infestans at various phases of infection, with a greater resistance at an early phase of fungal infection. There was a decrease in the accumulation of osmotin-like mRNAs and proteins when antisense transformants were challenged by fungal infection, although the antisense transformants did not exhibit any alterations in disease susceptibility. Expression of pA13 sense and antisense RNAs had no effect on the development of freezing tolerance in transgenic plants when assayed under a variety of conditions including treatments with abscisic acid or low temperature. These results provide evidence of antifungal activity for a potato osmotin-like protein against the fungus P. infestans, but do not indicate that pA13 osmotin-like protein is a major determinant of freezing tolerance.