By screening a transposon-induced mutant library of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the bacterial blight pathogen of rice, we have identified a novel 5.241-kb open reading frame (ORF) named xadM that is required for optimum virulence and colonization. This ORF encodes a protein, XadM, of 1,746 amino acids that exhibits significant similarity to Rhs family proteins. The XadM protein contains several repeat domains similar to a wall-associated surface protein of Bacillus subtilis, which has been proposed to be involved in carbohydrate binding. The role of XadM in X. oryzae pv. oryzae adhesion was demonstrated by the impaired ability of an xadM mutant strain to attach and form biofilms. Furthermore, we show that XadM is exposed on the cell surface and its expression is regulated by growth conditions and plays an important role in the early attachment and entry inside rice leaves. Interestingly, XadM homologs are present in several diverse bacteria, including many Xanthomonas spp. and animal-pathogenic bacteria belonging to Burkholderia spp. This is the first report of a role for XadM, an Rhs family protein, in adhesion and virulence of any pathogenic bacteria.