Previous analysis of porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV) mRNA species showed that mRNAs 2 and 3 were smaller than the corresponding transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) mRNA species (Page et al. (1991) J. Gen. Virol. 72, 579-587). Sequence analysis showed that mRNA 3 was smaller due to the presence of a new putative RNA-leader binding site upstream of the PRCV ORF-3 gene. However, this observation did not explain the deletion observed in PRCV mRNA 2. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to generate cDNA from the 3' coding region of the putative polymerase gene to the poly (A) tail of PRCV for comparison to the equivalent region from TGEV. The PRCV S protein was found to consist of 1225 amino acids, which had 98% similarity to the TGEV S protein. However, the PRCV S gene contained a 672 nucleotide deletion, corresponding to 224 amino acids (residues 21 to 245 in TGEV S protein), 59 nucleotides downstream of the S gene initiation codon. The PRCV genome from the ORF-3 gene to the poly (A) tail was sequenced for comparison to TGEV in order to identify other potential differences between the two viruses. Four ORFs were identified that showed 98% similarity to the TGEV ORF-4, M, N and ORF-7 genes. No other deletions or any PRCV specific sequences were identified.