The fusion (F) proteins of 10 strains of bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) were compared by radioimmunoprecipitation with fractionation on SDS-polyacrylamide gels. Two different molecular weights (15 kDa and 20 kDa) of the F2 proteins were demonstrated among the BRSV strains tested. To delineate the molecular basis for differences in the molecular weights of F2 subunits among the BRSV strains, the nucleotide sequences of the F genes of FS1 and VC464 strains were determined from cDNA clones. The deduced amino acid sequences were then compared to those of BRSV strains RB94, 391-2 and A51908. The F gene was highly conserved (> 95%) among BRSV strains. Comparison of the deduced F2 amino acid sequences showed that the strain with F2 subunits of 20 kDa had three N-linked glycosylation sites, whereas the strains with F2 subunits of 15 kDa had two N-linked glycosylation sites. Analysis of F2 subunits in their deglycosylated forms indicated that the difference in the molecular weights of the F2 subunits was due to the difference in the extent of glycosylation.