Few studies on embryogenesis in common bean (Phaseolusvulgaris L.) have been reported and only the early stages of somatic embryogenesis were observed. Dry seeds from two common bean lines were germinated in darkness on L-6 medium containing 4% sucrose, 0.2 g casein hydrolysate /liter and 2.0 g phytagel /liter. The medium for seed germination was supplemented with 0, 2, 4 or 6μM forchlorfenuron (CPPU). Explants from cotyledonary leaves, petioles, hypocotyls and shoot apices were prepared from 14 day-old seedlings. Callus was derived from explant cultures incubated in darkness at 26C on the medium containing 4 μM 2,4-D and 1 μM Kinetin. The callus was transferred after 4 weeks into 125 ml Erlenmeyer flasks containing 50 ml liquid medium and placed on a gyrotary shaker (120 rpm) under cool-white light (12 μmol.m-2.s-1). The liquid medium was used with 2, 4 or 6 μM of 2,4-D alone or with zeatin supplements at relative concentrations of 0.25 and 0.5. Up to 200 somatic embryos from 40 to 50 mg callus inoculations were induced after 4 to 5 weeks. Callus derived from seedlings grown on CPPU-containing medium gave more repetitive somatic embryos. Cotyledonary stage embryos with clear bipolar structure were observed only from callus derived from seedlings grown on CPPU when transferred to suspension cultures containing 2,4-D and zeatin. All somatic embryos differentiated strong roots and some developed leaf-like structures on conversion medium.