Barley yellow dwarf viruses (BYDVs) are the most serious and widespread viruses of oats, barley, and wheat worldwide. Natural resistance is inadequate. Toward overcoming this limitation, we engineered virus-derived transgenic resistance in oat. Oat plants were transformed with the 5' half of the BYDV strain PAV genome, which includes the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene. In experiments on T2- and T3-generation plants descended from the same transformation event, all BYDV-inoculated plants containing the transgene showed disease symptoms initially, but recovered, flowered, and produced seed. In contrast, all but one of the BYDV-PAV-inoculated nontransgenic segregants died before reaching 25 cm in height. Although all of the recovered transgenic plants looked similar, the amount of virus and viral RNA ranged from substantial to undetectable levels. Thus, the transgene may act either by restricting virus accumulation or by a novel transgenic tolerance phenomenon. This work demonstrates a strategy for genetically stable transgenic resistance to BYDVs that should apply to all hosts of the virus.