ABSTRACT Strain RT1 was isolated from root nodules of Lens culinaris (a lentil) and characterized as Rhizobium etli (a Gram-negative soil-borne bacterium) by 16S rDNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The signaling molecules produced by R. etli (RT1) were detected and identified by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The most abundant and biologically active N-acyl homoserine lactone molecules (3-oxo-C8-HSL and 3-OH-C14-HSL) were detected in the ethyl acetate extract of RT1. The biological role of 3-oxo-C8-HSL was evaluated in RT1. Bacterial motility and biofilm formation were affected or modified on increasing concentrations of 3-oxo-C8-HSL. Results confirmed the existence of cell communication in RT1 mediated by 3-oxo-C8-HSL, and positive correlations were found among quorum sensing, motility and biofilm formation in RT1.