The effect of plastic deformation of austenite on the nucleation of pearlite was investigated using an Fe–12Mn–0.8C (mass%) alloy. Slight warm deformation of austenite prior to pearlite transformation effectively accelerates the intragranular nucleation of pearlite although intragranular pearlite is hardly formed without deformation. Formation of pearlite at annealing twin boundaries is promoted in the warm-rolled specimens. Additionally MnS particles are activated as intragranular nucleation sites of pearlite. Cold rolling of austenite introduces many deformation twins in the alloy used. Subsequent isothermal transformation heat treatments result in nucleation of pearlite at intersections of the deformation twins. It is concluded that incoherent portions introduced by deformation onto the annealing or deformation twin boundaries are effective nucleation sites in the pearlite transformation.