In the synchronous embryogenesis system of sandalwood developed in our laboratory, we observed that the early events of differentiation from freshly induced callus (stage 0) are accomplished in three distinct stages viz., preglobular masses (stage 1), globular embryos (stage 2), and bipolar embryos (stage 3). Transition from stage 0 to 1 was accomplished using 2,4-D and involves a stage specific appearance of two polypeptides of 15 and 30 kDa molecular weight. A 24 kDa polypeptide that was detected as a marked band in extracts of primary callus was not detected in stages 1, 2, and 3. Further, the tissue level of a 50 kDa glycoprotein decreased during transition from stage 2 to stage 3. However, the levels of glycoproteins in the medium were markedly higher in stage 0 cultures compared to those in stage 1. The activities of a protein kinase, glycosidase, and xylanase increased markedly with progressing embryogenesis. Our observations suggest that in addition to being controlled at the level of stage-specific gene expression, somatic embryogenesis in sandalwood is also regulated at the level of controls on cell wall flexibility and posttranslational changes in the pool of preexisting proteins.