To clarify the early molecular interaction between ectomycorrhizal partners, we performed a RNA-Seq study of transcriptome reprogramming of the basidiomycete Hebeloma cylindrosporum before symbiotic structure differentiation with Pinus pinaster. Mycorrhiza transcriptome was studied for comparison. By reference to asymbiotic mycelium, 47 and 46 genes were specifically upregulated over fivefold (p = 0.05) upon rhizosphere colonization and root adhesion respectively. Other 45 were upregulated throughout the symbiotic interaction, from rhizosphere colonization to differentiated mycorrhizas, whereas 274 were specifically upregulated in mycorrhizas. Although exoproteome represents 5.6% of H. cylindrosporum proteome, 38.5% of the genes upregulated upon pre-infectious root colonization encoded extracellular proteins. The proportion decreased to 23.5% in mycorrhizas. At all studied time points, mycorrhiza-induced small secreted proteins (MiSSPs), representing potential effectors, were over-represented among upregulated genes. This was also the case for carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). Several CAZymes were upregulated at all studied stages of the interaction. Consistent with a role in fungal morphogenesis and symbiotic interface differentiation, CAZymes over-expressed before and upon root attachment targeted fungal and both fungal and plant polysaccharides respectively. Different hydrophobins were upregulated upon early root adhesion, in mycorrhizas or throughout interaction. The functional classification of genes upregulated only in mycorrhizas pointed to intense metabolic activity and nutritional exchanges.