Stilbene synthase (STS) is an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of stilbenes, which are synthesized in various plants in response to pathogen attack, UV irradiation or exposure to ozone. We describe analysis of an ozone inducible STS transcript and its corresponding promoter (Vst1), combined with the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene. A single ozone pulse (0.1 microliter/l, 10 h) resulted in 11-fold GUS expression. Histochemical localization of GUS activity revealed small spots distributed over the whole leaf. Cross-sections of leaf tissue showed that the Vst1 promoter was induced in palisade and spongy parenchyma cells and to a lesser extent in epidermal cells. Deletions at the 5' end showed that a partial promoter sequence between position -430 and -280 constituted the ozone-responsive region, whereas for effective pathogen-inducibility sequences from -280 to -140 have been shown to be necessary.