The human Bcl-xL gene was transformed into peanut cultivar Georgia Green via microprojectile bombardment. Following selection on hygromycin-containing medium and regeneration, eighty hygromycin-resistant callus clusters were recovered. Southern blot analysis of ten fertile lines revealed multiple insertions of the Bcl-xL transgene in most lines. Western blot analysis of primary plants and T1 progenies demonstrated detectable levels of Bcl-xL expression in four transgenic lines. We could not detect Bcl-xL protein in other tested lines even though transcripts were identified by RT-PCR and northern blot. Three of the western-positive transgenic lines either were sterile or the progenies lost the expressive copy of Bcl-xL. Only T1 progenies from line BX25-4-2a-19 continued to express an intermediate level of Bcl-xL. This line demonstrated paraquat tolerance at the 5 microM level. Tolerance to salt of T1 and T2 seeds from seven other transgenic lines also was tested, but no tolerance was found in these lines. A high level of Bcl-xL transgene expression may be deleterious to plant growth and development even though the gene may confer tolerance to other abiotic and biotic stresses such as drought and pathogens.