Four RNA transcripts encoded by cauliflower mosaic virus DNA have been detected in the polyadenylated RNA from virus-infected turnip leaves. Two of these transcripts, the major 35S and the 8S species, have the same 5' termini, at nucleotide 7435. A viral DNA fragment encompassing this region directs transcription initiation at this point in vitro. The 5' terminus of the 19S transcript is at nucleotide 5764, and a corresponding viral DNA fragment also directs transcription initiation in vitro. The major 35S RNA is a complete transcript of the circular viral genome, and is 3'-coterminal with 19S RNA at nucleotide 7615. The 8S RNA has its 3' extremity at delta 1, the single-stranded interruption in the transcribed strand of virion DNA. A minor 35S RNA has also been detected that has its 5' and 3' termini at delta 1.