Comparative analysis of the complete genome sequences of 13 baculoviruses revealed a core set of 30 genes, 20 of which have known functions. Phylogenetic analyses of these 30 genes yielded a tree with 4 major groups: the genus Granulovirus (GVs), the group I and II lepidopteran nucleopolyhedroviruses (NPVs), and the dipteran NPV, CuniNPV. These major divisions within the family Baculoviridae were also supported by phylogenies based on gene content and gene order. Gene content mapping has revealed the patterns of gene acquisitions and losses that have taken place during baculovirus evolution, and it has highlighted the fluid nature of baculovirus genomes. The identification of shared protein phylogenetic profiles provided evidence for two putative DNA repair systems and for viral proteins specific for infection of lymantrid hosts. Examination of gene order conservation revealed a core gene cluster of four genes, helicase, lef-5, ac96, and 38K(ac98), whose relative positions are conserved in all baculovirus genomes.