Legume rhizobia symbiotic nitrogen (N2) fixation plays a critical role in sustainable nitrogen management in agriculture and in the Earth's nitrogen cycle. Signaling between rhizobia and legumes initiates development of a unique plant organ, the root nodule, where bacteria undergo endocytosis and become surrounded by a plant membrane to form a symbiosome. Between this membrane and the encased bacteria exists a matrix-filled space (the symbiosome space) that is thought to contain a mixture of plant- and bacteria-derived proteins. Maintenance of the symbiosis state requires continuous communication between the plant and bacterial partners. Here, we show in the model legume Medicago truncatula that a novel family of six calmodulin-like proteins (CaMLs), expressed specifically in root nodules, are localized within the symbiosome space. All six nodule-specific CaML genes are clustered in the M. truncatula genome, along with two other nodule-specific genes, nodulin-22 and nodulin-25. Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analysis suggest that an unequal recombination event occurred between nodulin-25 and a nearby calmodulin, which gave rise to the first CaML, and the gene family evolved by tandem duplication and divergence. The data provide striking evidence for the recruitment of a ubiquitous Ca2+-binding gene for symbiotic purposes.