in order to streamline the transfer of dna into plant cells have developed different methods for genetic transformation in plants. these methods can be divided into two classes: indirect methods based on biological vectors known as, and direct methods based on physical and chemical elements. this work presents an updated review of the methods used for genetic transformation of plants, aimed at those interested in crops breeding. to do this we reviewed databases "science direct", "hinari" and "medline" available on the website of the national library system (sinab) of the universidad nacional de colombia. keywords used in english were: "plant transformation", "genetic engineering", "transgenic plants", "genetically modified crops", to search for general documents. search was further refined by using more specific keywords, like "particle bombardment", "biolistic", "agrobacterium ", "sonication", etc. also conducted some research complementation in spanish, using the search "google" for the key words "cultivos genéticamente modificados" and " cultivos transgénicos". were reviewed scientific articles and reviews between 1997 and 2010. there is a long list of processes used in the transfer of foreign genes into the genomes of plant species, including: viral vectors, liposomes, electroporation, sonication, chemical-mediated transfer, silicon carbide fibers, microinjection and microlaser. however, gm crops are released commercially, have been produced through the use of two technologies: biolistic and agrobacterium tumefaciens -mediated transformation.