A system for the production of transgenic papaya (Carica papaya L.) plants using zygotic embryos and embryogenic callus as target cells for particle bombardment is described. Phosphinothricin (bar ) and kanamycin (npt II) resistance genes were used as selectable markers, and the gus gene (uidA) as a reporter gene. Selection with 100 mg/l kanamycin and 4 mg/l phosphinothricin (PPT) yielded a total of over 90 resistant embryogenic colonies from three independent experiments using embryogenic callus as a target tissue. This represents an efficiency of 60 transgenic clones per gram of fresh weight callus bombarded. The efficiency of genetic transformation using zygotic embryos was lower, as only 8 independent resistant clones were recovered out of 645 bombarded zygotic embryos, giving a efficiency of 1.24%. Subsequent subculture of transgenic somatic embryos both from zygotic embryos and embryogenic callus led to the development of plants with apparently normal morphology. Histological, fluorimetric assay for GUS, NPT II assay and DNA analysis (Southern hybridization) showed that kanamycin /PPT resistant plants carried and expressed the transgenes.