The open reading frame located in the viral strand of the ambisense S RNA of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), was cloned into transfer vector pAc33DZ1 and inserted downstream of the polyhedrin promoter in the Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus genome. Recombinant baculoviruses were obtained that showed a high-level expression of a 52.4-kDa protein corresponding to the inserted TSWV gene. The viral protein thus produced was purified and injected into rabbits to raise antibodies. Western immunoblot analyses of extracts from TSWV-infected plants demonstrated that the 52.4-kDa TSWV-specific polypeptide represents a nonstructural protein (denoted NSs), being absent in purified virus particles. Immunogold labeling of tissue sections of TSWV-infected Nicotiana rustica plants showed that this protein was, depending on the virus isolate, either found dispersed throughout the cytoplasm or associated with fibers which appeared as elongated flexible filaments or paracrystalline rods.