The effects of transfer of the movement gene between the tobamoviruses tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and tobacco mild green mosaic virus (TMGMV) were studied. The movement protein (MP) gene of TMGMV was cloned into an infectious cDNA of TMV to build the recombinant virus V23. V23, like TMV and TMGMV, caused systemic infection in Nicotiana tabacum Xanthi. In N. sylvestris V23 and TMV spread systemically although TMGMV produces necrotic local lesions on this host. V23 and TMV cause systemic infection on tomato plants while TMGMV does not infect tomato. In Xanthi nc plants, V23 produced necrotic local lesions similar in size to those produced by TMGMV. On the other hand in transgenic Xanthi nc tobacco plants that express a gene encoding the MP of TMV the necrotic lesions produced by V23 and TMGMV were similar in size to those produced by TMV. These results indicate that the size of necrotic lesions produced by TMGMV and TMV on Xanthi nc plants is influenced by the MP gene.