Within the broader context of eukaryote hemoglobins and the three families of bacterial globins. Most eukaryote hemoglobins, including metazoan globins and the symbiotic and non-symbiotic plant hemoglobins, are homologous to the bacterial 3/3 fold flavohemoglobins. The remaining plant hemoglobins are homologous to the bacterial 2/2 fold group 2 hemoglobins. We have proposed that all eukaryote globins were acquired via horizontal gene transfer concomitant with the endosymbiotic events responsible for the origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts. Although the 3/3 hemoglobins originated in the ancestor of green algae and plants prior to the emergence of embryophytes at about 450 mya, the 2/2 hemoglobins appear to have originated via horizontal gene transfer from a bacterium ancestral to present day Chloroflexi. Unlike the 2/2 hemoglobins, the evolution of the 3/3 hemoglobins was accompanied by duplication, diversification and functional adaptations. Duplication of the ancestral plant nshb gene into the nshb-1 and nshb-2 lineages occurred prior to the monocot-dicot divergence at ca. 140 mya. It was followed by the emergence of symbiotic hemoglobins from a non-symbiotic hemoglobin precursor and further specialization, leading to leghemoglobins in N2-fixing legume nodules concomitant with the origin of nodulation at ca. 60 mya. The transition of non-symbiotic to symbiotic hemoglobins (including to leghemoglobins) was accompanied by the alteration of heme-Fe coordination from hexa- to penta-coordination. Additional genomic information about charophyte algae, the sister group to land plants, is required for the further clarification of plant globin phylogeny.