Aluminum (Al)-tolerant cell lines (ALT301 and ALT401) of tobacco were isolated in a simple calcium (Ca) solution from ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS)-treated suspension cultured tobacco cells (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Samsun, a cell line SL) at the logarithmic phase of growth. A highly tolerant cell line ALT301 exhibited the accumulation of Al and the deposition of callose to the same extent as the parental SL cells during the exposure to Al. However, the Al-treated ALT301 cells grew much better than the Al-treated SL cells after transfer to Al-free growth medium. Compared to SL cells, ALT301 cells were more tolerant to toxicity of copper and iron, but not to that of lanthanum. These results suggest that ALT301 cells have an internal tolerance mechanism, which makes cells grow normally in spite of Al accumulation and Al-induced lesion represented by the deposition of callose. This tolerance mechanism seems also to be effective against copper and iron toxicity. A slightly tolerant cell line ALT401 also accumulated Al to the same degree as SL cells, but deposited significantly less callose than did SL cells (43% of SL). The growth of ALT401 cells after Al treatment was only slightly better than that of SL cells. Thus, it seems that ALT401 cells have a mechanism to protect cells only from the Al-induced deposition of callose, which is not enough to overcome the Al-induced inhibition of growth. The different phenotypes exhibited by these Al-tolerant cell lines suggest that the deposition of callose is not directly related to the inhibition of growth in Al-treated cells.