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A complete and efficient protocol is presented for plant regeneration from cell-suspension cultures of Dalbergia sissoo Roxb., an economically important leguminous tree. Factors influencing callus initiation, establishment of cell-suspension culture, callus formation from embredded microcolonies, and shoot organogenesis from suspension-derived callus were identified. Of the two different auxins tested, callus induction was better on a medium containing naphthalene acetic acid (NAA). The percentage of callus induction increased considerably when NAA at 2.0 mg l−1 (10.8 μM) was added in conjunction with 0.5 mg l−1 (2.2 μM) N6-benzyladenine (BA). Of the three different explants evaluated for callus induction, hypocotyl segments were most responsive. Friable hypocotyl-derived callus from the second subculture passage was used to initiate the cell-suspension culture. Optimum growth of the cell suspension was observed in MS medium supplemented with the same growth regulators as described above for callus induction, with an initial inoculum cell density of 1%. The plating efficiency of the microcolonies was greatly influenced by harvesting time and the gelling agent used for plating. Efficiency was highest (93%) with cells harvested at their exponential growth phase and plated in 1.2 g l−1 Phytagel. Shoot organogenesis from callus cultures was higher on a medium supplemented with a combination of BA and NAA than on BA alone. Seventy-one per cent of cultures exhibited shoot-bud differentiation on a medium containing 3.0 mg l−1 (13.3 μM) BA and 0.5 mg l−1 (2.7 μM) NAA. Regenerated shoots were rooted on half-strength MS medium containing 1 mg l−1 each of indole-3-acetic acid (5.7 μM), indole-3-butyric acid (4.9 μM) and indole-3-propionic acid (5.3 μM). Plantlets were acclimated and established in soil.