Expression cassettes containing a duplicated cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter fused to a polylinker preceded by the CCACCATGG and AACAATGG sequences were constructed. These two sequences correspond to the consensus sequences around the translation start codons in vertebrates and plants respectively. Translational fusions were made with the beta-glucuronidase-coding sequence and transient expression was recorded in tobacco mesophyll protoplasts. Approximately three times more GUS activity was found in protoplasts incubated with the constructs harbouring translational fusions as compared to a control harbouring a transcriptional fusion. No significant difference was observed between GUS activities obtained with the two consensus sequences.