Cereal embryos can produce two types of callus. One type, termed “embryogenic,” consists of small meristematic-like cells and gives rise to many plants by somatic embryogenesis if placed on a suitable regeneration medium. The other is termed “nonembryogenic” and consists of long tubular cells which gives rise to few or no plants. High concentrations of tryptophan increased the formation of embryogenic callus in three rice cultivars (Oryza sativa L. Calrose 76, Pokkali, and IR 36) but not in four others (Mahsuri, Bg 400-1, H4, and Giza 159). The best concentration of tryptophan for Pokkali and Calrose 76 was 100 micrograms per milliliter, and for IR 36, 50 micrograms per milliliter. Indoleacetic acid at 100 micrograms per milliliter promoted an effect similar to that of tryptophan on Calrose 76. The difference between japonica (Calrose 76, Giza 159) and indica (Pokkali, IR 36) varieties is not the causal factor for the difference in response to tryptophan. Kinetin does not appear to be a requirement for embryogenic callus formation in Calrose 76. Plant regeneration from Calrose 76 embryogenic callus occurred at low levels in media containing no hormones. 6-benzyladenine, or 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid but not indoleacetic acid at 0.1 to 0.5 micrograms per milliliter significantly increased regeneration.