Fibroblasts from European field vole (Microtus agrestis) and from normal rat kidney (NRK) have been infected by avian sarcoma virus mutants which are temperature-sensitive for the maintenance of transformation. These cells are transformed at 33 degrees C, but show normal cell characteristics in morphology, colony formation in agar, saturation density, sugar uptake and membrane proteins at 39 degrees C and 40 degrees C, the nonpermissive temperatures. Ts mutant virus was rescued from most of the ts transformed cell lines. NRK cells infected by avian sarcoma virus ts mutants and kept at the nonpermissive temperature can be transformed by wild-type avian sarcoma virus. The susceptibility of the temperature-sensitive NRK lines to this transformation is higher than the susceptibility of uninfected NRK at either permissive or nonpermissive temperature.