The rice resistance gene Xa21 confers resistance against the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). The molecular genetic mechanism controlling the integration of the Xa21-mediated disease resistance response with the developmental program in rice is under study in this model system. Reproducible means of infecting plants at certain developmental stages were designed based on the timing of full expansion of the leaf. Xa21-resistance progressively increases from the susceptible juvenile leaf 2 stage through later stages, with 100% resistance at the adult leaf 9/10 stage. We found that Xa21 expression is independent of plant developmental stage, infection with Xoo, or wounding. Expression of the Xa21 gene transcript is not correlated with expression of Xa21 disease resistance indicating that the developmental regulation of Xa21-resistance is either controlled post-transcriptionally or by other factors.