Mutation breeding is a promising option for the genetic improvement of sweet potato. Callus induction, somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration was investigated in twenty-two sweet potato varieties of different origin. Plant regeneration was found to depend on the genotype and composition of the induction medium. The regeneration through somatic embryogenesis induced morphological and physiological changes among the regenerated plants. The irradiation with 30 to 50 Gy of meristems before culture on induction medium inhibited somatic embryogenesis. A number of accessions were evaluated in field trials and showed wide differences in yield. (author). 6 refs, 6 tabs.