Gill-associated virus (GAV) infects Penaeus monodon shrimp and is the type species okavirus in the Roniviridae, the only invertebrate nidoviruses known currently. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) using His 6-tagged full-length and truncated proteins were employed to examine the nucleic acid binding properties of the GAV nucleocapsid (N) protein in vitro. The EMSAs showed full-length N protein to bind to all synthetic single-stranded (ss)RNAs tested independent of their sequence. The ssRNAs included (+) and (−) sense regions of the GAV genome as well as a (+) sense region of the M RNA segment of Mourilyan virus, a crustacean bunya-like virus. GAV N protein also bound to double-stranded (ds)RNAs prepared to GAV ORF1b gene regions and to bacteriophage M13 genomic ssDNA. EMSAs using the five N protein constructs with variable-length N-terminal and/or C-terminal truncations localized the RNA binding domain to a 50 amino acid (aa) N-terminal sequence spanning Met 11 to Arg 60. Similarly to other RNA binding proteins, the first 16 aa portion of this sequence was proline/arginine rich. To examine this domain in more detail, the 18 aa peptide (M 11PVRRPLPPQPPRNARLI 29) encompassing this sequence was synthesized and found to bind nucleic acids similarly to the full-length N protein in EMSAs. The data indicate a fundamental role for the GAV N protein proline/arginine-rich domain in nucleating genomic ssRNA to form nucleocapsids. Moreover, as the synthetic peptide formed higher-order complexes in the presence of RNA, the domain might also play some role in protein/protein interactions stabilizing the helical structure of GAV nucleocapsids.