Adenovirus-specific nuclear and polysomal RNA, both early and late in the infectious cycle, contain a covalently linked region of polyadenylic acid 150-250 nucleotides long. A large proportion of the adenovirus-specific messenger RNA contains poly(A). As revealed by hybridization experiments, the poly(A) is not transcribed from adenovirus DNA. Furthermore, an adenosine analogue, cordycepin, blocks the synthesis of poly(A) and also inhibits the accumulation of adenovirus messenger RNA on polysomes. Addition of poly(A) to viral RNA may involve a host-controlled mechanism that regulates the processing and transport of messenger RNA.