Specific cDNAs showing differential expression in bacteria-infected pepper leaves as opposed to healthy leaves were isolated from a pepper cDNA library from hypersensitive response (HR) lesions of leaves infected with an avirulent strain of Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria. Among a total of 282 cDNA clones tested, 36 individual cDNA genes (13%) hybridized strongly or differentially to the cDNA probes from bacteria-infected leaves. Ten Capsicum annuum-induced (CAI) genes encoding putative thionin, lipid transfer protein I and II, osmotin (PR-5), class I chitinase, β-1,3-glucanase, SAR 8.2, stellacyanin, leucine-rich repeat protein, and auxin-repressed protein were identified. Two CAI genes showed little or no sequence homology to the previously sequenced plant genes. Transcripts of the CAI genes were strongly or preferentially induced in pepper tissues by infection with X. campestris pv. vesicatoria or Phytophthora capsici, and by abiotic elicitor treatment. In particular, most of the CAI genes were strongly induced in pepper tissues by ethephon and methyl jasmonate.