To anticipate potential seedling damage, plants block seed germination under unfavorable conditions. Previous studies investigated how seed germination is controlled in response to abiotic stresses through gibberellic and abscisic acid signaling. However, little is known about whether seeds respond to rhizosphere bacterial pathogens. We found that seed germination is blocked in the vicinity of the plant pathogen . We identified L-2-amino-4-methoxy-trans-3-butenoic acid (AMB), released by , as a biotic compound triggering germination arrest. We provide genetic evidence that in AMB-treated seeds DELLA factors promote the accumulation of the germination repressor ABI5 in a GA-independent manner. AMB production is controlled by the quorum sensing system IQS. In vitro experiments show that the AMB-dependent germination arrest protects seedlings from damage induced by AMB. We discuss the possibility that this could serve as a protective response to avoid severe seedling damage induced by AMB and exposure to a pathogen.