We report a strength comparison of a large variety of monocot and dicot intron-containing fragments inserted in the 5' untranslated leader, between the CaMV 35S promoter and the uidA gene (coding for the ß-glucuronidase: GUS). Relative strengths of the intron-containing fragments were evaluated by comparing transient GUS expression after particle bombardment in embryogenic maize and bluegrass suspension cultures. Our results confirm a dramatic dependence on the presence of an intron for chimeric gene expression in both species. On average, the maize first intron of ubi1 provided the highest enhancement of gene expression in maize and bluegrass (71- and 26-fold enhancement, respectively). Half of the introns tested affected gene expression differently in bluegrass and maize. This suggests that the intron-mediated enhancement of gene expression generally obtained with maize may not be fully applicable to all monocots. We also report enhancement of gene expression (92-fold) in a monocot species by a dicot intron (chsA intron).