Jasmonic acid has properties of a plant hormone, including the induction of specific genes associated with plant defense. We previously described jar1-1, an Arabidopsis jasmonate response mutant that exhibits reduced sensitivity to methyl jasmonate. We have further characterized this mutant and two new alleles; jar1-2 from a gamma irradiated population, and jar1-4 from a T-DNA mutant population. Seedling root growth in jar1-1 was equally insensitive to methyl jasmonate and jasmonic acid, indicating that the defect was not in the conversion of methyl jasmonate to the acid. None of the jar1 mutants showed an altered sensitivity to auxin, cytokinin, or the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid, indicating that the lesion does not affect the general uptake or transport of hormones. A soil fungus, Pythium irregulare, was found to blight jar1-1. Cultures of this organism caused the symptoms in all three jar1 mutants but not in wild type, indicating that increased susceptibility was due to the lesion in the JAR1 locus. A fatty acid desaturase triple mutant that is defective in the biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (J. Browse, Washington State University) was also susceptible, confirming that jasmonate is involved in resistance. The jar1-1 locus was mapped to the lower end of chromosome 2, about 11.4 cM from as1 and 1.6 cM from cer8. These results establish that jasmonate signaling plays an important role in resistance to soil micro-organisms in plants.