The genetic engineering of plants by DNA-mediated gene transfer requires that efficient transformation systems be developed. Considerable progress has been made in manipulating the Ti plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens as a vehicle for delivery of foreign genes into protoplasts of dicotyle-donous plants. Part of the Ti plasmid, the T-DNA, can be incorporated into the genome of the host cell; the T-DNA can carry a foreign DNA sequence which co-integrates with it; under normal conditions, the tumorigenic-causing portion of the T-DNA can be inactivated so that transformed protoplasts can be regenerated and T-DNA with an inserted foreign gene can be stably maintained during regeneration, meiosis and gamete formation. A foreign gene has yet to be expressed in regenerated plants although a T-DNA gene for opine synthesis can function in regenerates. Developing a more ubiquitous transformation system for monocotyledons is further from fruition. Based on transformation systems for simple eukaryotic organisms, it is reasonable to expect that a DNA vector which is capable of amplifying a novel plant gene and which contains both a drug resistance marker to facilitate the selection of transformed plant protoplasts and a species-specific autonomously replicating sequence to ensure the stable maintenance of the input gene in the recipient cell can be constructed.