We previously identified changes in gene expression in Ageratum conyzoides plant cells inoculated with Agrobacterium tumefaciens by using cDNA-AFLP. Here, we show that a subset of defense-related genes is differentially regulated by an Agrobacterium attachment-deficient mutant. The expression pattern triggered by this mutant is similar to that induced by inoculation with non-pathogenic bacteria. We also observed that the expression level of the defense genes was inversely correlated with the efficiency of transformation by Agrobacterium. We propose that the plant defense system has an important role in controlling infection and transformation and that Agrobacterium may dampen some plant defense responses.