Leptosphaeria maculans, a pathogen of Brassica napus, is unable to invade most wild-type accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana, although several mutants are susceptible. The infection pathway of L. maculans via a non-invasive inoculation method on A. thaliana lms1 (undefined), pmr4-1 (defective in callose deposition), and pen1-1 and pen2-1 (defective in non-host responses to several pathogens) mutants is described. On wild types Col-0 and Ler-0, hyphae are generally arrested at stomatal apertures. A T-DNA insertional mutant of L. maculans (A22) that penetrates stomatal apertures of Col-0 and Ler-0 five to seven times more often than the wild-type isolate is described. The higher penetration frequency of isolate A22 is associated with an increased hypersensitive response, which includes callose deposition. Complementation analysis showed that the phenotype of this isolate is due to T-DNA insertion in an intronless gene denoted as ipa (increased penetration on Arabidopsis). This gene is predicted to encode a protein of 702 amino acids with best matches to hypothetical proteins in other filamentous ascomycetes. The ipa gene is expressed in the wild-type isolate at low levels in culture and during infection of A. thaliana and B. napus.