The Hrgp (hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein) gene codes in maize for one of the most abundant proteins of the cell wall. HRGPs may contribute to the structural support of the wall and they have also been involved in plant defense mechanisms. This second aspect has been tested for the Hrgp gene in maize where, in contrast with the situation in dicot species, the gene is encoded by a single-copy sequence. Hrgp mRNA accumulation is induced in maize suspension-cultured cells by elicitors, isolated either from maize pathogenic or non-pathogenic fungi. The induction of Hrgp mRNA accumulation by elicitor extracted from Fusarium moniliforme has been studied in detail. The level of induction depends on elicitor concentration and remains high until at least 24 h. Ethylene and protein phosphorylation appear to be involved in the transduction pathway of Hrgp gene activation by the F. moniliforme elicitor but not by 5 μM methyl jasmonate or 1 mM salycilic acid. Different compounds known to participate in plant stress responses such as ascorbic acid or reduced glutathione have also a positive effect on Hrgp mRNA accumulation.