Hpa1 is a harpin protein produced by Xanthomonas oryzae, an important bacterial pathogen of rice, and has the growth-promoting activity in plants. To understand the molecular basis for the function of Hpa1, we generated an inactive variant protein, Hpa1𝛥NT, by deleting the nitroxyl-terminal region of the Hpa1 sequence and compared Hpa1𝛥NT with the full-length protein in terms of the effects on vegetative growth and related physiological responses in Arabidopsis. When Hpa1 was applied to plants, it acted to enhance the vegetative growth but did not affect the floral development. Enhanced plant growth was accompanied by induced expression of growth-promoting genes in plant leaves. The growth-promoting activity of Hpa1 was further correlated with a physiological consequence shown as promoted leaf photosynthesis as a result of facilitated CO2 conduction through leaf stomata and mesophyll cells. On the contrary, plant growth, growth-promoting gene expression, and the physiological consequence changed little in response to the Hpa1𝛥NT treatment. These analyses suggest that Hpa1 requires the nitroxyl-terminus to facilitate CO2 transport inside leaf cells and promote leaf photosynthesis and vegetative growth of the plant.