Induced resistance was found to be a mechanism for biological control of leaf spot, caused by Bipolaris sorokiniana, in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) using the bacterium Lysobacter enzymogenes strain C3. Resistance elicited by C3 suppressed germination of B. sorokiniana conidia on the phylloplane in addition to reducing the severity of leaf spot. The pathogen-inhibitory effect could be separated from antibiosis by using heat-inactivated cells of C3 that retained no antifungal activity. Application of live or heat-killed cells to tall fescue leaves resulted only in localized resistance confined to the treated leaf, whereas treatment of roots resulted in systemic resistance expressed in the foliage. The effects of foliar and root applications of C3 were long lasting, as evidenced by suppression of conidial germination and leaf spot development even when pathogen inoculation was delayed 15 days after bacterial treatment. When C3 population levels and germination of pathogen conidia was examined on leaf segments, germination percentage was reduced on all segments from C3-treated leaves compared with segments from non-treated leaves, but no dose-response relationship typical of antagonism was found. Induced resistance by C3 was not host or pathogen specific; foliar application of heat-killed C3 cells controlled B. sorokiniana on wheat and also was effective in reducing the severity of brown patch, caused by Rhizoctonia solani, on tall fescue. Treatments of tall fescue foliage or roots with C3 resulted in significantly elevated peroxidase activity compared with the control.