Progress in plant molecular biology has depended heavily on the availability of effective vectors for plant cell transformation and heterologous expression. In this paper we describe the structures of a wide array of plasmids which have proved extremely effective in (a) plant transformation, (b) expression of heterologous genes and (c) assaying the activity of transposons in transgenic plants. Constructs that confer resistance to kanamycin, hygromycin, streptomycin, spectinomycin and phosphinotricin, or that confer beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene expression are presented. Binary vector constructs that carry polylinkers of the pUC and Bluescript types are also described. Plasmids that permit the expression of any heterologous reading frame from either nopaline synthase (nos) or octopine synthase (ocs) promoters, as well as the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter, using either the nopaline synthase or octopine synthase 3' polyadenylation sequences, are presented. These constructs permit a choice of orientation of the resulting transgene of interest, relative to the orientation of the selection marker gene. Most of the plasmids described here are publicly available.