Pseudomonas cichorii is the major causal agent of bacterial rot of lettuce. Collapse and browning symptoms were observed in lettuce leaf tissue from 15 to 24 h after inoculation (HAI) with P. cichorii; superoxide anion generation was detected at 1 to 6 HAI; and cell death was induced at 6 HAI, reaching a maximum at approximately 9 and 12 HAI. Heterochromatin condensation and DNA laddering also were observed within 3 HAI. Pharmacological studies showed that induction of cell death and DNA laddering was closely associated with de novo protein synthesis, protein kinase, intracellular reactive oxygen species, DNase, serine protease, and caspase III-like protease. Moreover, chemicals, which inhibited the induction of cell death and DNA laddering, also suppressed the development of disease symptoms. These results suggest that apoptotic cell death might be closely associated with the development of bacterial rot caused by P. cichorii.