The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) GSTF8 gene is a member of the glutathione S-transferase (GST) family whose expression is induced by defense signals, certain chemical stresses, and some pathogens. Here, we have used transgenic plants and an in vivo imaging system to demonstrate that GSTF8 expression is subject to a distinct desensitization phenomenon because prior chemical treatment significantly reduces reactivation of the GSTF8 promoter by hydrogen peroxide, auxin, and salicylic acid. A GSTF8 null line had similar desensitization properties to wild type, demonstrating that GSTF8 protein levels are not responsible for desensitization. The resulting refractory period is unusually long lasting, with full recovery taking 4 d. Expression of the GSTF8 promoter following a second treatment occurred predominantly in newly formed tissue at the root tip, suggesting that desensitization is lost upon cell division. Expression of the endogenous GSTF8 gene and another GST gene, GSTF6, is also desensitized following treatment with hydrogen peroxide. The desensitization phenomenon can be activated by a very low concentration of inducer that is not sufficient to activate the GSTF8 promoter. These results demonstrate that activation of the GSTF8 promoter is not essential for eliciting desensitization. A key promoter sequence within the GSTF8 gene, the ocs element, is also affected by desensitization. Treatment with a phosphatase inhibitor prevents desensitization of GSTF8 expression and ocs element activity, suggesting that dephosphorylation of one or more proteins is required for desensitization to occur.