Growth of genetically engineered, bioluminescent, Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), causal agent of black rot of crucifera, was followed in cabbage plants after the plants were prior inoculated with Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv) or a nonvirulent strain of Xcc. Wound inoculation with Xcv induced a hypersensitive response and restricted the bioluminescent bacteria-host interaction if prior inoculation was carried out one day before challenge inoculation. Mist inoculation with Xcv was effective in restricting Xcc when the time period between inoculation end challenge was 6 days. In field studies, however, mist inoculation with Xcv or a nonvirulent strain of Xcc, one week before challenge inoculation with bioluminescent Xcc, did not significantly effect the growth and persistence of biolum inescent Xcc. The biolum inescent strain overwintered endophytically in cabbage and could be detected for many months throughout the vegetative period of the host.