Callus tissue cultures were developed from apical meristem regions of tumor-like ineffective root nodules of alfalfa. Callus growth was a function of tissue source and hormone composition and concentration. Callus derived from ineffective nodules also were shown not to contain Rhizobium meliloti. Glutamate dehydrogenase, glutamine synthetase, glutamate synthase, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase activities were present in callus cultures and in the respective nodule source used for callus induction. The mean specific activity of all enzymes evaluated was higher in callus cultures than in ineffective nodules. Quantitative but not qualitative differences in enzyme activities were evident between ineffective nodules and callus derived from these nodules. Tissue cultures derived from ineffective nodules may provide a model system to evaluate host plant-Rhizobium interactions.