Next generation sequencing is quickly emerging as the go-to tool for plant virologists when sequencing whole virus genomes, and undertaking plant metagenomic studies for new virus discoveries. This study aims to compare the genomic and biological properties of Bean yellow mosaic virus (BYMV) (genus Potyvirus), isolates from Lupinus angustifolius plants with black pod syndrome (BPS), systemic necrosis or non-necrotic symptoms, and from two other plant species. When one Clover yellow vein virus (ClYVV) (genus Potyvirus) and 22 BYMV isolates were sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq2000, one new ClYVV and 23 new BYMV sequences were obtained. When the 23 new BYMV genomes were compared with 17 other BYMV genomes available on Genbank, phylogenetic analysis provided strong support for existence of nine phylogenetic groupings. Biological studies involving seven isolates of BYMV and one of ClYVV gave no symptoms or reactions that could be used to distinguish BYMV isolates from L. angustifolius plants with black pod syndrome from other isolates. Here, we propose that the current system of nomenclature based on biological properties be replaced by numbered groups (I-IX). This is because use of whole genomes revealed that the previous phylogenetic grouping system based on partial sequences of virus genomes and original isolation hosts was unsustainable. This study also demonstrated that, where next generation sequencing is used to obtain complete plant virus genomes, consideration needs to be given to issues regarding sample preparation, adequate levels of coverage across a genome and methods of assembly. It also provided important lessons that will be helpful to other plant virologists using next generation sequencing in the future. © 2014 Kehoe et al.