To investigate a possible in vivo cooperation between the p61/63myc and P135gag-myb-ets proteins, we used a previously constructed retrovirus, named MHE226, which contains the fused v-myb and v-ets oncogenes of the E26 retrovirus and the v-myc oncogene of MH2. For that purpose, chicken neuroretina cells producing MHE226 and pseudotyped with the Rous associated virus-1 (RAV-1) helper virus were injected in 1-day-old chickens. In control experiments, we also injected chicken neuroretina cells producing E26 (RAV-1), RAV-1 alone, or constructs lacking one of the oncogenes of MHE226. The average life span of MHE226-infected chickens is half that of E26-infected chickens. MHE226-infected chickens harbor tumors scattered in many organs, but compared with E26, MHE226 induced a weak leukemia. Study of integration sites suggests that the majority of the tumors results from clonal or oligoclonal events. Cell cultures were derived from the tumors of MHE226-infected chickens and grown in standard medium without addition of exogenous chicken myelomonocytic growth factor. These cells still divide at high rate after more than 100 passages and can thus be considered immortalized. By using several criteria, these cells were characterized as precursors of the myelomonocytic lineages.