Beet necrotic yellow vein virus RNAs 1 and 2 but not RNAs 3 and 4 are required for viral multiplication in Chenopodium quinoa leaves. Elimination of the 3' poly(A) tail from RNA 3 transcripts markedly attenuated their ability to be amplified when co-inoculated with RNAs 1 and 2 to this host. Successful multiplication of the tailless RNA 3 was accompanied by the reappearance of new 3' poly(A) tails on the progeny. The evidence suggests that the newly acquired poly(A) sequence results from the action of a poly(A) polymerase rather than recombination with the homologous 3' terminal domains of RNAs 1 or 2. An unexpected feature of these progeny RNA 3 molecules was the presence of a novel short heterogenous U-rich tract separating the poly(A) tail from the 3' end of the heteropolymeric RNA 3 sequence proper.