Arbuscule formation by the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices (Schenck & Smith) was limited to cortical cells immediately adjacent to the endodermis. Because these cortical cells are the first to intercept photosynthate exiting the vascular cylinder, transcript levels for sucrose metabolizing-enzymes were compared between mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal roots. The probes corresponded to genes encoding a soluble acid invertase with potential vacuolar targeting, which we generated from Phaseolus vulgaris roots, a Rhizobium-responsive sucrose synthase of soybean and a cell wall acid invertase of carrot. Transcripts in non-mycorrhizal roots were developmentally regulated and abundant in the root tips for all three probes but in differentiated roots of P. vulgaris they were predominantly located in phloem tissues for sucrose synthase or the endodermis and phloem for soluble acid invertase. In mycorrhizal roots increased accumulations of transcripts for sucrose synthase and vacuolar invertase were both observed in the same cortical cells bearing arbuscules that fluoresce. There was no effect on the expression of the cell wall invertase gene in fluorescent carrot cells containing arbuscules. Thus, it appears that presence of the fungal hyphae in the fluorescent arbusculated cell stimulates discrete alterations in expression of sucrose metabolizing enzymes to increase the sink potential of the cell.