Piriformospora indica, an endophytic fungus of the Sebacinaceae family, colonizes the roots of a wide variety of plant species and promotes their growth, in a manner similar to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The results of the present study demonstrate that the fungus interacts also with the non-mycorrhizal host Arabidopsis thaliana and promotes its growth. The interaction is detectable by the appearance of a strong autofluorescence in the roots, followed by the colonization of root cells by fungal hyphae and the generation of chlamydospores. Promotion of root growth was detectable even before noticeable root colonization. Membrane-associated proteins from control roots and roots after cultivation with P. indica were separated by two-dimensional gel-electrophoresis and identified by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry. Differences were found in the expression of glucosidase II, beta-glucosidase PYK10, two glutathione-S-transferases and several so-far uncharacterized proteins. Based on conserved domains present in the latter proteins their possible roles in plant–microbe interaction are predicted. Taken together, the present results suggest that the interaction of Arabidopsis thaliana with P. indica is a powerful model system to study beneficial plant–microbe interaction at the molecular level. Furthermore, the successful accommodation of the fungus in the root cells is preceded by protein modifications in the endoplasmatic reticulum as well as at the plasma membrane of the host.