Two classes of bacterial genes are involved in the elicitation of the plant hypersensitive response (HR) in resistant plants: hrp genes and avr genes. hrp genes have been shown to be involved in the production and secretion of a new class of bacterial virulence/avirulence proteins, including harpin of Erwinia amylovora and harpinPss of Pseudomonas syringae. The ability of avr genes in the elicitation of the HR/resistance is dependent on functional hrp genes. The relationships between harpins and avr gene products are not known. This study investigates the plant genes induced by harpins and the effect of avr genes on the expression of such plant genes. A tobacco gene highly induced by harpins was isolated by a subtractive hybridization method. Induction of hin1 by P.s. pv. syringae 61 (Pss61) was found to be dependent on functional bacterial hrp genes. P. fluorescens (a saprophyte) or hrp mutants defective in the Hrp secretion pathway did not induce hin1 significantly. A hin 1-related gene in tomato cv. Rio Grande-PtoR was found to be rapidly induced by P. s. pv. tomato T1 (a virulent bacterium on Rio Grande-PtoR) containing the avrPto gene, which mediates the elictation of the HR/resistance in a Pto plant resistance gene-dependent manner. The induction of hin1 by bacteria correlates with production of harpins in planta. The putative open reading frame of hin1 encodes a novel protein of 221 amino acids. The data suggest that harpins and the avrPto-mediated signal induce a common plant gene in the elicitation of the HR.