The Arabidopsis NPR1 gene controls the onset of systemic acquired resistance (SAR), a plant immunity, to a broad spectrum of pathogens that is normally established after a primary exposure to avirulent pathogens. Mutants with defects in NPR1 fail to respond to various SAR-inducing treatments, displaying little expression of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes and exhibiting increased susceptibility to infections. NPR1 was cloned using a map-based approach and was found to encode a novel protein containing ankyrin repeats. The lesion in one npr1 mutant allele disrupted the ankyrin consensus sequence, suggesting that these repeats are important for NPR1 function. Furthermore, transformation of the cloned wild-type NPR1 gene into npr1 mutants not only complemented the mutations, restoring the responsiveness to SAR induction with respect to PR-gene expression and resistance to infections, but also rendered the transgenic plants more resistant to infection by P. syringae in the absence of SAR induction.