Homocitrate is an essential component of the iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase, the bacterial enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of dinitrogen (N2) to ammonia. In nitrogen-fixing and nodulating alpha-rhizobia, homocitrate is usually provided to bacteroids in root nodules by their plant host. In contrast, non-nodulating free-living diazotrophs encode the homocitrate synthase (NifV) and reduce N2 in nitrogen-limiting free-living conditions. Paraburkholderia phymatum STM815 is a beta-rhizobial strain, which can enter symbiosis with a broad range of legumes, including papilionoids and mimosoids. In contrast to most alpha-rhizobia, which lack nifV, P. phymatum harbors a copy of nifV on its symbiotic plasmid. We show here that P. phymatum nifV is essential for nitrogenase activity both in root nodules of papilionoid plants and in free-living growth conditions. Notably, nifV was dispensable in nodules of Mimosa pudica despite the fact that the gene was highly expressed during symbiosis with all tested papilionoid and mimosoid plants. A metabolome analysis of papilionoid and mimosoid root nodules infected with the P. phymatum wild-type strain revealed that among the approximately 400 measured metabolites, homocitrate and other metabolites involved in lysine biosynthesis and degradation have accumulated in all plant nodules compared to uninfected roots, suggesting an important role of these metabolites during symbiosis.