We have established 3 new EBV-negative cell lines, designated Sc-1, Ri-1 and Ci-1, from patients with B-cell lymphoma/leukemia. We characterized them by cytogenetics and by study of surface membrane antigens with a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), surface and cytoplasmic immunoglobulin (Ig) expression and Ig heavy- and light-chain genes. All 3 lines had a 14q+ abnormality. Ri-1 also had translocations involving chromosomes 2, 8 and 18. Ci-1 also had abnormalities involving chromosomes 2, 8 and 22 and its karyotype was 46, XX, t(2;8), t(14;22). The t(2;8) had the same breakpoints as those reported in some cases of Burkitt's lymphoma. We also studied a classical Ph1-positive cell line previously established by Pegoraro et al. (1983) and designated BV173. The phenotypes of these 4 lines based on Ig expression and marker studies correlated well with their respective genotypes. Our results are in keeping with the notion that leukaemic cell populations are clonal expansions of cells "frozen" at a particular stage in their differentiation. Specifically, BV173 cells are at an early stage of B-cell differentiation, Ri-1 and Ci-1 cells are at intermediate stages and Sc-1 cells are at a relatively late stage in the B-cell lineage.