The transport of succinate was studied in bacteroids of an effective, streptomycin-resistant strain (GF160) of Rhizobium leguminosarum. High levels of succinate transport occurred, and the kinetics, specificity, and sensitivity to metabolic inhibitors were similar to those previously described for free-living cells. The symbiotic properties of two transposon (Tn5)-mediated C4-dicarboxylate transport mutants (strains GF31 and GF252) were determined. Strain GF31 formed ineffective nodules, and bacteroids from these nodules showed no succinate transport activity. Strain GF252 formed partially effective nodules, and bacteroids from these nodules showed about 50% of the succinate transport activity of the parent bacteroids. Another dicarboxylic acid transport mutant (Dct-), strain GFS5, isolated after N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine mutagenesis, formed ineffective nodules. The ability to form ineffective nodules in strains GF31 and GFS5 was shown to correlate with the Dct- phenotype. The data indicate that the presence of a functional C4-dicarboxylic acid transport system is essential for N2 fixation to occur in pea nodules.