The present study describes the characterization of an African swine fever virus gene homologous to prenyltransferases. The gene, designated B318L, is located within the EcoRI B fragment in the central region of the virus genome, and encodes a polypeptide with a predicted molecular weight of 35,904. The protein is characterized by the presence of a putative hydrophobic transmembrane domain at the amino end. The gene is expressed at the late stage of virus infection, and transcription is initiated at positions -118, -119, -120, and -122 relative to the first nucleotide of the translation start codon. Protein B318L presents a colinear arrangement of the four highly conserved regions and the two aspartate-rich motifs characteristic of geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthases, farnesyl diphosphate synthases, and other prenyltransferases. Throughout these regions, the percentages of identity between protein B318L and various prenyltransferases range from 28.6 to 48.7%. The gene was cloned in vector pTrxFus without the amino-terminal hydrophobic region and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein, purified essentially to homogeneity by affinity chromatography, catalyzes the sequential condensation of isopentenyl diphosphate with different allylic diphosphates, farnesyl diphosphate being the best allylic substrate of the reaction. All-trans-polyprenyl diphosphates containing 3-13 isoprene units are synthesized, which identifies the B318L protein as a trans-prenyltransferase.