The complete nucleotide sequence of Subterranean clover mottle virus (SCMoV) genomic RNA has been determined. The SCMoV genome is 4,258 nucleotides in length. It shares most nucleotide and amino acid sequence identity with the genome of Lucerne transient streak virus (LTSV). SCMoV RNA encodes four overlapping open reading frames and has a genome organisation similar to that of Cocksfoot mottle virus (CfMV). ORF1 and ORF4 are predicted to encode single proteins. ORF2 is predicted to encode two proteins that are derived from a -1 translational frameshift between two overlapping reading frames (ORF2a and ORF2b). A search of amino acid databases did not find a significant match for ORF1 and the function of this protein remains unclear. ORF2a contains a motif typical of chymotrypsin-like serine proteases and ORF2b has motifs characteristically present in positive-stranded RNA-dependent RNA polymerases. ORF4 is likely to be expressed from a subgenomic RNA and encodes the viral coat protein. The ORF2a/ORF2b overlapping gene expression strategy used by SCMoV and CfMV is similar to that of the poleroviruses and differ from that of other published sobemoviruses. These results suggest that the sobemoviruses could now be divided into two distinct subgroups based on those that express the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from a single, in-frame polyprotein, and those that express it via a -1 translational frameshifting mechanism.