© 2017, Microbiology Society. All rights reserved. The family Virgaviridae is a family of plant viruses with rod-shaped virions, a ssRNA genome with a 3¢-terminal tRNA-like structure and a replication protein typical of alpha-like viruses. Differences in the number of genome components, genome organization and the mode of transmission provide the basis for genus demarcation. Tobacco mosaic virus (genus Tobamovirus) was the first virus to be discovered (in 1886); it is present in high concentrations in infected plants, is extremely stable and has been extensively studied. This is a summary of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Report on the taxonomy of the Virgaviridae, which is available at www.ictv.global/report/virgaviridae.