Plum pox virus (PPV) isolates differ by their capsid protein (CP) mobility in SDS-PAGE. These electrophoretic phenotypes are likely to result from post-translational modifications of the CP. We demonstrated that the CP mobility was solely determined by the CP N-terminal region. Sequence comparison pinpointed a possible role of mutations at position 66 in determining the CP phenotype of PPV-Rec isolates. Site-directed mutagenesis of a chimeric clone demonstrated that Gly(66) in the CP resulted in the double-band phenotype, while Arg(66) led to a single-band CP pattern, possibly by preventing the phosphorylation of a nearby Ser residue by steric hindrance.