Many animal-pathogenic bacteria can use heme compounds as iron sources. Like these microorganisms, rhizobium strains interact with host organisms where heme compounds are available. Results presented in this paper indicate that the use of hemoglobin as an iron source is not restricted to animal-pathogenic microorganisms. We also demonstrate that heme, hemoglobin, and leghemoglobin can act as iron sources under iron-depleted conditions for Rhizobium meliloti 242. Analysis of iron acquisition mutant strains indicates that siderophore-, heme-, hemoglobin-, and leghemoglobin-mediated iron transport systems expressed by R. meliloti 242 share at least one component.