Reassortant bunyaviruses derived from two members of the California serogroup (La Crosse/original and Tahyna/181-57) viruses were used to demonstrate that the large Mr viral protein (L) is encoded by the L RNA segment. Radiolabelled viral proteins were analysed by discontinuous SDS-PAGE. The L protein of La Crosse virus was observed to migrate ahead of its Tahyna virus counterpart when electrophoresed through a 5% acrylamide resolving gel. Among the reassortant viruses, the L protein phenotype segregated with the viral L RNA segment. After confirming the genotype of the viruses used in this study, it was concluded that the L RNA species of California serogroup viruses codes for the L protein, the presumed viral polymerase.