We have isolated a Cicer arietinum cDNA clone (CaXTH1) encoding a protein that belongs to the family 16 of glycosyl hydrolases and has all the conserved features of xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolases (XTH) proteins, including the presence of a highly conserved domain (DEIDFEFLG) and four Cys which suggest the potential for forming disulfide bonds. These facts indicate that CaXTH1 encodes a putative XTH. This chickpea protein showed a high level of sequence identity with group 1 XTHs that have xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) activity. CaXTH1 was selected by differential screening of a cDNA library constructed using mRNA from C. arietinum polyethylene glycol (PEG) treated epicotyls, as a clone whose expression decreased when epicotyl growth was inhibited by PEG. CaXTH1 shows an expression pattern that seems to be specific for growing tissue, mostly epicotyls and the growing internodes of adult stems. CaXTH1 mRNA was not detected in any other organs of either seedlings or adult plants. CaXTH1 mRNA was abundant when epicotyls are actively growing; there was almost no expression after PEG-treatment. CaXTH1 was up-regulated by indole acetic acid (IAA) and brassinolides (BR), showing the highest transcript levels after IAA plus BR treatment. In situ hybridization study revealed that CaXTH1 is mainly expressed in epidermal cells, the target of the cell expansion process, and also in vascular tissues. The present results suggest an involvement of the putative XTH encoded by CaXTH1 in the chickpea cell expansion process.