Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a potent innate immunity system in plants that is effective against a broad range of pathogens. SAR in dicotyledonous plants such as tobacco and Arabidopsis has been partially elucidated and is mediated by salicylic acid (SA). However, the SAR mechanism of monocotyledonous rice plants remains to be clarified, although some similarities between SAR mechanisms in both types have been reported. Here we have characterized N-cyanomethyl-2-chloroisonicotinamide (NCI) as an effective SAR inducer in both plant species. Soil drench application of NCI induces a broad range of disease resistance in tobacco and rice and, more specifically, PR gene expression in tobacco. Both SA measurements in wild-type NCI-treated tobacco and pathogenic infection studies using NahG transgenic tobacco plants indicate that NCI-induced resistance enhancement does not require SA. Therefore, it is suggested that NCI induces SAR by triggering signaling at the same level as or downstream of SA accumulation as do both benzo(1,2,3)thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester and 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid. The fact that all of these chemicals are effective in rice and tobacco suggests that several common components function in disease resistance in both plant species.