Abelson murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV)-transformed fibroblast nonproducer cells were used to prepare A-MuLV stocks containing a number of different helper viruses. The oncogenicity of the A-MuLV stocks was tested by animal inoculation and their ability to transform normal mouse bone marrow cells was measured in vitro. All of the A-MuLV stocks transformed fibroblast cells efficiently. However, only A-MuLV stocks prepared with helper viruses that are highly oncogenic were efficient in vivo and in vitro in hematopoietic cell transformation. In addition, inefficient helpers did not establish a stable infection in lymphoid nonproducer cells. Thus, helper virus has a more central role in lymphoid cell transformation than in fibroblast cell transformation.