A number of early nodulin genes are expressed in specific cell types as pea (Pisum sativum) root nodules develop. The Pisum sativum early nodulin PsENOD2 is detected only in the uninfected cells of the nodule parenchyma, whereas PsENOD12 is expressed at two spatially removed sites: in root hairs and adjacent cortical cells, both of which can be invaded by Rhizobium entering through infection threads, and in derivatives of newly divided root inner cortical cells that establish the nodule primordium. We tested whether Rhizobium infection is required for triggering PsENOD12 gene expression by inducing nodule-like structures on Afghanistan pea roots with the auxin transport inhibitor N-(1-naphthyl)phthalamic acid (NPA). These nodule-like structures lack infection threads but resemble Rhizobium-induced nodules in other aspects. For one, both PsENOD2 and PsENOD12 transcripts were detected in these structures. PsENOD2 mRNA was localized by in situ hybridization to a zone equivalent to the nodule parenchyma of Rhizobium-induced nodules, whereas PsENOD12 transcripts were detected in a group of cells comparable to the nodule primordium of developing nodules. In addition, PsENOD12 mRNA was detected in uninfected root hairs 48 h after NPA treatment. These results indicate that infection is not a trigger for PsENOD12 gene expression in Afghanistan pea and rather suggest that the expression of the PsENOD2 and PsENOD12 genes is correlated with the differentiation of specific cell types in the developing nodule.