The polypeptides encoded in open reading frame (ORF) 1b of the mouse hepatitis virus A59 putative polymerase gene of RNA 1 were identified in the products of in vitro translation of genome RNA. Two antisera directed against fusion proteins containing sequences encoded in portions of the 3'-terminal 2.0 kb of ORF 1b were used to immunoprecipitate p90, p74, p53, p44, and p32 polypeptides. These polypeptides were clearly different in electrophoretic mobility, antiserum reactivity, and partial protease digestion pattern from viral structural proteins and from polypeptides encoded in the 5' end of ORF 1a, previously identified by in vitro translation. The largest of these polypeptides had partial protease digestion patterns similar to those of polypeptides generated by in vitro translation of a synthetic mRNA derived from the 3' end of ORF 1b. The polypeptides encoded in ORF 1b accumulated more slowly during in vitro translation than polypeptides encoded in ORF 1a. This is consistent with the hypothesis that translation of gene A initiates at the 5' end of ORF 1a and that translation of ORF 1b occurs following a frameshift at the ORF 1a-ORF 1b junction. The use of in vitro translation of genome RNA and immunoprecipitation with antisera directed against various regions of the polypeptides encoded in gene A should make it possible to study synthesis and processing of the putative coronavirus polymerase.