Methyl jasmonate is a plant volatile that acts as an important cellular regulator mediating diverse developmental processes and defense responses. We have cloned the novel gene JMT encoding an S-adenosyl-l-methionine:jasmonic acid carboxyl methyltransferase (JMT) from Arabidopsis thaliana. Recombinant JMT protein expressed in Escherichia coli catalyzed the formation of methyl jasmonate from jasmonic acid with Km value of 38.5 μM. JMT RNA was not detected in young seedlings but was detected in rosettes, cauline leaves, and developing flowers. In addition, expression of the gene was induced both locally and systemically by wounding or methyl jasmonate treatment. This result suggests that JMT can perceive and respond to local and systemic signals generated by external stimuli, and that the signals may include methyl jasmonate itself. Transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing JMT had a 3-fold elevated level of endogenous methyl jasmonate without altering jasmonic acid content. The transgenic plants exhibited constitutive expression of jasmonate-responsive genes, including VSP and PDF1.2. Furthermore, the transgenic plants showed enhanced level of resistance against the virulent fungus Botrytis cinerea. Thus, our data suggest that the jasmonic acid carboxyl methyltransferase is a key enzyme for jasmonate-regulated plant responses. Activation of JMT expression leads to production of methyl jasmonate that could act as an intracellular regulator, a diffusible intercellular signal transducer, and an airborne signal mediating intra- and interplant communications.