Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae is the pathogen that causes bacterial leaf blight in rice. Bacterial leaf blight is the main cause for severe rice underproduction in many countries. However, with conventional methods it is difficult to quickly and reliably distinguish this pathogen from other closely related pathogenic bacteria, especially X. oryzae pv. oryzicola, the causal organism of bacterial leaf streak in rice. We have developed a novel and highly sensitive real-time method for the identification of this specific bacteria based on a TaqMan probe. This probe is designed to recognize the sequence of a putative siderophore receptor gene cds specific to X. oryzae pv. oryzae, and can be identified from either a bacterial culture or naturally infected rice seeds and leaves in only 2 h. The sensitivity of the method is 100 times higher than that of the current polymerase chain reaction (PCR) gel electrophoresis method for diagnosis.