Studies of Bacillus subtilis RNases that are involved in mRNA degradation reveal a different pattern from that of Escherichia coli. A strain lacking polynucleotide phosphorylase, the major 3'-to-5' exoribonuclease activity in cell extracts, is viable. Here, we show that the B. subtilis yvaJ gene encodes a second 3'-to-5' exoribonuclease. A strain lacking both of these RNases grows slowly but is viable. The existence of another, as yet unknown, 3'-to-5' exoribonuclease in B. subtilis is suggested.