A laser-based ethylene detector was used for on-line monitoring of ethylene released by the phytopathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea in vitro and in tomato fruit. Ethylene data were combined with the results of a cytological analysis of germination of B. cinerea conidia and hyphal growth. We found that aminoethoxyvinylglycine and aminooxyacetic acid, which are competitive inhibitors of the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid pathway, did not inhibit the ethylene emission by B. cinerea and that the fungus most likely produces ethylene via the 2-keto-4-methylthiobutyric acid pathway. B. cinerea is able to produce ethylene in vitro, and the emission of ethylene follows the pattern that is associated with hyphal growth rather than the germination of conidia. Ethylene production in vitro depended on the L-methionine concentration added to the plating medium. Higher values and higher emission rates were observed when the concentration of conidia was increased. Compared with the ethylene released by the fungus, the infection-related ethylene produced by two tomato cultivars (cultivars Money Maker and Daniela) followed a similar pattern, but the levels of emission were 100-fold higher. The time evolution of enhanced ethylene production by the infected tomatoes and the cytological observations indicate that ethylene emission by the tomato-fungus system is not triggered by the ethylene produced by B. cinerea, although it is strongly synchronized with the growth rate of the fungus inside the tomato.