© The Author 2017. Plants synthesize jasmonates (JAs) in response to developmental cues or environmental stresses, in order to coordinate plant growth, development or defense against pathogens and herbivores. Perception of pathogen or herbivore attack promotes synthesis of jasmonoyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile), which binds to the COI1-JAZ receptor, triggering the degradation of JAZ repressors and induction of transcriptional reprogramming associated with plant defense. Interestingly, some virulent pathogens have evolved various strategies to manipulate JA signaling to facilitate their exploitation of plant hosts. In this review, we focus on recent advances in understanding the mechanism underlying the enigmatic switch between transcriptional repression and hormone-dependent transcriptional activation of JA signaling. We also discuss various strategies used by pathogens and insects to manipulate JA signaling and how interfering with this could be used as a novel means of disease control.