Twelve non-nodulating pea (Pisum sativum L.) mutants were studied to identify the blocks in nodule tissue development. In nine, the reason for the lack of infection thread (IT) development was studied; this had been characterized previously in the other three mutants. With respect to IT development, mutants in gene sym7 are interrupted at the stage of colonization of the pocket in the curled root hair (Crh- phenotype), mutants in genes sym37 and sym38 are blocked at the stage of IT growth in the root hair cell (Ith- phenotype) and mutants in gene sym34 at the stage of IT growth inside root cortex cells (Itr- phenotype). With respect to nodule tissue development, mutants in genes sym7, sym14 and sym35 were shown to be blocked at the stage of cortical cell divisions (Ccd- phenotype), mutants in gene sym34 are halted at the stage of nodule primordium (NP) development (Npd- phenotype) and mutants in genes sym37 and sym38 are arrested at the stage of nodule meristem development (Nmd- phenotype). Thus, the sequential functioning of the genes Sym37, Sym38 and the gene Sym34 apparently differs in the infection process and during nodule tissue development. Based on these data, a scheme is suggested for the sequential functioning of early pea symbiotic genes in the two developmental processes: infection and nodule tissue formation.