The transcription activator-like (TAL) type III effector AvrXa27 from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) strain PXO99A activates the transcription of the host resistance gene Xa27, which results in disease resistance to bacterial blight (BB) in rice. In this study, we show that AvrXa27-activated Xa27 transcription requires host general transcription factor OsTFIIAγ5. The V39E substitution in OsTFIIAγ5, encoded by the recessive resistance gene xa5 in rice, greatly attenuates this activation in xa5 and Xa27 double homozygotes on inoculation with Xa27-incompatible strains. The xa5 gene also causes attenuation in the induction of Xa27 by AvrXa27 expressed in rice. The xa5-mediated attenuation of Xa27-mediated resistance to PXO99A is recessive. Intriguingly, xa5-mediated resistance to xa5-incompatible strains is also down-regulated in the xa5 and Xa27 double homozygotes. In addition, AvrXa27 expressed in planta shows weak virulence activity in the xa5 genetic background and causes enhanced susceptibility of the plants to BB inoculation. The results suggest that TAL effectors target host general transcription factors to directly manipulate the host transcriptional machinery for virulence and/or avirulence. The identification of xa5-mediated attenuation of Xa27-mediated resistance to Xoo provides a guideline for breeding resistance to BB when pyramiding xa5 with other resistance genes.