Brachypodium distachyon is emerging as the model species for temperate monocotyledonous grasses of the Pooideae, and the genome of the B. distachyon community inbred line Bd21 has recently been sequenced. Here, we report the development of a procedure for the efficient establishment of a cell suspension culture derived from calli. We show that embryogenic potential is maintained in 3-month-old cultures as the cells were positively labelled by the monoclonal antibody, JIM8 which recognizes a carbohydrate epitope often present in arabinogalactan proteins found in the cell walls of cells in embryogenic cultures. Additionally, we were able to regenerate plants from these cell suspension cultures. The cell suspension culture we have established can also be used in studies on plant programmed cell death (PCD). Our results clearly demonstrate that B. distachyon cells can undergo apoptosis-like PCD (AL-PCD) as visualised by the characteristic retraction of the protoplast from the cell wall. As B. distachyon is genetically related to important temperate cereal grass crops like wheat and barley, the ability to utilise cell suspension cultures of B. distachyon to dissect the underlying mechanisms PCD will have important implications for understanding developmental processes in economically important cereal crops.