Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation has been greatly improved in recent years, however the transformation efficiency is still low and highly genotype-dependent when compared to other species. Here, we characterized seventeen soybean genotypes based on their genetic transformation efficiencies, i.e., high and low, during Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. To reveal the molecular basis of this transformation difference, we constructed a highly efficient transient transgene expression system using soybean cotyledon protoplasts and then assess the methylation levels of promoter and coding regions of an EYFP (enhanced yellow fluorescent protein) gene introduced into the protoplast cultures of various soybean genotypes using BSP (bisulfite sequencing PCR). Increased methylation was found to be associated with the considerably decreased transfection efficiency (as percentage of EYFP fluorescent protoplasts) in low-efficacy genotypes as compared with those in high-efficacy on three DAT (day after transfection). 5-Azacytidine (5-Azac), a demethylating reagent commonly applied in epigenetic researches, significantly improved the transient transfection efficiency and transgene expression level in low-efficiency genotypes. Furthermore, the shoot regeneration efficiency in low-efficiency genotypes was substantially increased by 5-Azac treatment in an Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation system. Taken together, we concluded that lower methylation level in transgene contributed to enhanced shoot regeneration in Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation.