We have determined the nucleotide sequence of the L gene of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), New Jersey serotype (Ogden strain) by primer extension dideoxy sequencing of the genomic RNA with reverse transcriptase. This analysis completes the entire genomic sequence of the VSVNJ (Ogden). Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of this L protein with those reported for L proteins of Indiana serotype and Hazelhurst strain of New Jersey serotype revealed an extensive sequence similarity among all three proteins. The comparison was further extended to the L proteins of other nonsegmented negative-strand RNA viruses, namely the rabies virus and four members of the paramyxovirus family: measles, Newcastle disease, human parainfluenza 3, and Sendai viruses. Our findings confirmed the existence of conserved as well as unique domains in the L proteins, suggesting an evolutionary relationship among these viruses.