In studies with a laboratory isolate of the fungal pathogen Stagonospora (Septoria) nodorum three different isolates of bacteria were closely associated with the fungus. Bacteria were also closely associated with fresh isolates of S. nodorum obtained from artificially and naturally infected field material. Although a range of bacteria was isolated, only one type of bacterium was found to be associated with each isolate of S. nodorum. In co-inoculation studies with pycnidiospores of the fungus on detached leaves, some of the bacterial isolates significantly increased the pathogenicity of the fungus, particularly Xanthomonas maltophilia, Sphingobacterium multivorum, Enterobacter agglomerans and Erwinia amylovora. Evidence is presented indicating that one of the ways that the ‘helper bacteria’ may assist in the establishment of infections is by the production of lipases that were not detected in germinating fungal spores.