Nucleoporins are components of the nuclear pore complexes, channels that regulate the transport of macromolecules between the nucleus and cytoplasm. The nucleoporin GLE1 (GLFG lethal1) functions in the export of messenger RNAs containing poly(A) tails from the nucleus into the cytoplasm. Here we investigated a mutant of the model legume Lotus japonicus that was defective in GLE1, which we designated Ljgle1. The growth of Ljgle1 was retarded under symbiotic association with rhizobia, and the nitrogen-fixation activities of the nodules were around one-third of those in the wild-type plant. The growth of Ljgle1 was not substantialy recovered by supplemention of combined nitrogen. Nodules formed on the Ljgle1 were smaller than those on the wild-type and colored faint pink. The numbers of infected cells of nodules on the Ljgle1 were smaller than on the wild-type plant, and the former cells remained undeveloped. Rhizobia in the cells of the Ljgle1 exhibited disordered forms, and the symbiosome membrane was closely attached to the bacterial membrane. These results indicate that GLE1 plays a distinct role in the symbiotic association between legumes and rhizobia.