To identify possible iron sources for bacteroids in planta, soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) symbiosomes (consisting of the bacteroid-containing peribacteroid space enclosed by the peribacteroid membrane [PBM]) and bacteroids were assayed for the ability to transport iron supplied as various ferric [Fe(III)]-chelates. Iron presented as a number of Fe(III)-chelates was transported at much higher rates across the PBM than across the bacteroid membranes, suggesting the presence of an iron storage pool in the peribacteroid space. Pulse-chase experiments confirmed the presence of such an iron storage pool. Because the PBM is derived from the plant plasma membrane, we reasoned that it may possess a ferric-chelate reductase activity similar to that present in plant plasma membrane. We detected ferric-chelate reductase activity associated with the PBM and suggest that reduction of Fe(III) to ferrous [Fe(II)] plays a role in the movement of iron into soybean symbiosomes.