This study was carried out to evaluate the effects of purine synthesis inhibitor mizoribine, purine and pyrimidine synthesis inhibitors azaserine and acivicin, and surfactant Silwet L-77 on Agrobacterium-mediated transformation efficiency of embryogenic calluses from maize elite inbred lines Qi 319 and Ye 515. After transformation and three rounds of selection on 2.8 μM chlorsulfuron, resistant calluses were obtained subsequently, and morphologically normal plantlets were regenerated from 80 to 90% of the resistant calluses treated with the compounds. There were no obvious discrepancies between the frequencies of plantlet regeneration and the ratio of PCR positive plantlets of calluses treated with different compounds. Results of PCR assay with primers for betA showed that 40.2% (103/256) of the regenerated plantlets were positive. The percentage of resistant calluses was 2-3-fold higher than the control after being treated with 0.19-0.27 mM mizoribine. The most suitable concentration of azaserin was 0.36 mM, which gave a 4-fold increase in the percentage of resistant calluses. Acivicin at 0.28-0.84 mM yielded a 3-5-fold increase in the percentage of resistant calluses, which is significantly better than the control. When the calluses were treated with 0.01 or 0.02% Silwet L-77, the percentages of resistant calluses were 34.89 and 25.60%, respectively. We concluded that purine synthesis inhibitors, purine and pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor and the surfactant Silwet L-77 at optimal concentrations significantly improved the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of maize calluses.