Leaf mesophyll protoplasts isolated from pea (Pisum sativum L.) genotypes Century and PI244253 showed transient expression of β-glucuronidase (GUS) when electroporated with plasmid DNA containing various promoter-leader sequence constructs driving the GUS gene. The optimum conditions for transient expression were: using protoplasts isolated from leaf material that had been kept in the dark for 90 h; electroporating at 250 V and 960 μF; and using 125 μg of calf thymus carrier DNA and 75 μ of plasmid DNA. PI244253 had 5 to 20 times the GUS activity levels of Century. Similar levels of transient expression were obtained using either the nopaline synthase or cauliflower mosaic virus 35S (35S) promoters. These levels were lower than that obtained using a duplicated 35S promoter derivative. The presence of an untranslated coat protein mRNA leader sequence from alfalfa mosaic virus between each promoter and the GUS gene resulted in increased GUS activity. Leaf mesophyll protoplasts and root protoplasts of PI244253 did not differ in levels of transient expression.