The complete nucleotide sequence of the large (L) genome segment of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) has been determined. The RNA is 8897 nucleotides long and contains complementary 3' and 5' ends, comprising 62 nucleotides at the 5' end and 66 nucleotides at the 3' end. The RNA is of negative polarity, with one large open reading frame (ORF) located on the viral complementary strand. This ORF corresponds to a primary translation product of 2875 amino acids in length, with a predicted Mr of 331,500. Comparison with the polymerase proteins of other negative-strand viruses indicates that this protein most likely represents the viral polymerase. The genetic organization of TSWV L RNA is similar to that of the L RNA segments of Bunyamwera and Hantaan viruses, animal-infecting representatives of the Bunyaviridae.