The genomic sequences of four isolates of turnip yellow mosaic virus (TYMV-Cd) from Australia, and three TYMV-1 (type) and three TYMV-2 (cauliflower) isolates from Europe were compared by cDNA-RNA hybridization tests, by analysis of the fragments produced from cDNA-RNA hybrids by restriction endonuclease treatment, and by determining the 3' terminal nucleotide sequences of their coat protein mRNAs. All three methods showed only slight differences (ca. 1%) between the mRNA sequences of different TYMV-1 and TYMV-Cd isolates, and did not distinguish between those groups of isolates. By contrast, the nucleotide sequences of TYMV-2 isolates differed from those of the other TYMVs by ca. 5% (sequence analysis) to 11% (restriction fragment analysis). Published biogeographic evidence has indicated that the TYMV-Cd and TYMV-1 populations probably separated more than 12,000 years ago. This implies that these TYMV genomes have changed at a rate of, at most, 1% in 10,000 years.