A new human embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma cell line, designated JR-1, is described that closely resembles the tumour from which it was derived. Comparative studies, by light and electron microscopy reveal morphological features such as myofibre formation, that are concordant with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. Immunohistological investigations using a panel of monoclonal antibodies indicate that the cell surface antigen profile of the JR-1 cell line is similar to other embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas. In addition the cell line expresses the cytoplasmic intermediate filament protein desmin, only found in cells of rhabdoid origin. Karyotyping JR-1 shows the cells to contain variable numbers of chromosomes (range 44-100). DNA flow cytometry indicates that cells have an DNA content which is approximately twice normal. The JR-1 cell line has a doubling time of 29 h in culture and, in common with several other human cell lines, produces xenografts in nude mice within 6 weeks of inoculation. With detailed studies on the original tumour and the JR-1 cell line, the latter should prove an excellent model system for investigating the biology of rhabdomyosarcoma.