The genome of Marburg virus (MBG), a filovirus, is 19.1 kb in length and thus the largest one found with negative-strand RNA viruses. The gene order - 3' untranslated region-NP-VP35-VP40-GP-VP30-VP24-L-5' untranslated region-resembles that of other non-segmented negative-strand (NNS) RNA viruses. Six species of polyadenylated subgenomic RNAs, isolated from MBG-infected cells, are complementary to the negative-strand RNA genome. They can be translated in vitro into the known structural proteins NP, GP (non-glycosylated form), VP40, VP35, VP30 and VP24. At the gene boundaries conserved transcriptional start (3'-NNCUNCNUNUAAUU-5') and stop signals (3'-UAAUUCUUUUU-5') are located containing the highly conserved pentamer 3'-UAAUU-5'. Comparison with other NNS RNA viruses shows conservation primarily in the termination signals, whereas the start signals are more variable. The intergenic regions vary in length and nucleotide composition. All genes have relatively long 3' and 5' end non-coding regions. The putative 3' and 5' leader RNA sequences of the MBG genome resemble those of other NNS RNA viruses in length, conservation at the 3' and 5' ends, and in being complementary at their extremities. The data support the concept of a common taxonomic order Mononegavirales comprising the Filoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, and Rhabdoviridae families.