Important losses in strawberry production are caused by species of the fungus Colletotrichum, the causal agent of anthracnose. However, very limited studies at molecular level exist of the mechanisms related to strawberry susceptibility against this pathogen. We have analysed a moderately resistant cultivar (cv. Andana) together with a very susceptible one (cv. Camarosa) during the process of infection with Colletotrichum acutatum at a molecular level. To gain insight into this interaction we have identified a large number of strawberry genes involved in signalling, transcriptional control, defence and many genes with unknown function with altered expression in response to C. acutatum infection. Spatial and temporal gene expression profiles after infection showed that the response was dependant on the tissue and cultivar analysed and also quicker and/or stronger in the moderately resistant cultivar (cv. Andana) than in the susceptible one (cv. Camarosa). Interestingly, we found that genes described as being induced during pathogen infection such as γ-thionins, peroxidases, chitinases and β-1-3-glucanases were downregulated in fruit and/or crown tissues of the very susceptible cultivar. Our results yielded a first insight on some of the genes responding to this plant–pathogen interaction at molecular level and suggest that pathogen progression can be dependent upon a reduction of the active defences of strawberry and this is genotype and tissue dependent.