Multidrug efflux pumps of bacteria are involved in the resistance to various antibiotics and toxic compounds. In Rhizobium etli, a mutualistic symbiont of Phaseolus vulgaris (bean), genes resembling multidrug efflux pump genes were identified and designated rmrA and rmrB. rmrA was obtained after the screening of transposon-generated fusions that are inducible by bean-root released flavonoids. The predicted gene products of rmrAB shared significant homology to membrane fusion and major facilitator proteins, respectively. Mutants of rmrA formed on average 40% less nodules in bean, while mutants of rmrA and rmrB had enhanced sensitivity to phytoalexins, flavonoids, and salicylic acid, compared with the wild-type strain. Multidrug resistance genes emrAB from Escherichia coli complemented an rmrA mutant from R. etli for resistance to high concentrations of naringenin.