The 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus (pH1N1) contains neuraminidase (NA) and matrix (M) genes from Eurasian avian-like swine influenza viruses (SIVs), with the remaining six genes from North American triple-reassortant SIVs. To characterize the role of the pH1N1 NA and M genes in pathogenesis and transmission, their impact was evaluated in the background of an H1N1 triple-reassortant (tr1930) SIV in which the HA (H3) and NA (N2) of influenza A/swine/Texas/4199-2/98 virus were replaced with those from the classical H1N1 A/swine/Iowa/15/30 (1930) virus. The laboratory-adapted 1930 virus did not shed nor transmit in pigs, but tr1930 was able to shed in infected pigs. The NA, M or both genes of the tr1930 virus were then substituted by those of pH1N1. The resulting virus with both NA and M from pH1N1 grew to significantly higher titre in cell cultures than the viruses with single NA or M from pH1N1. In a pig model, only the virus containing both NA and M from pH1N1 was transmitted to and infected sentinels, whereas the viruses with single NA or M from pH1N1 did not. These results demonstrate that the right combination of NA and M genes is critical for the replication and transmissibility of influenza viruses in pigs.