Although the biological variability of Watermelon mosaic virus is limited, isolates from the three main molecular groups differ in their ability to infect systemically Chenopodium quinoa. Mutations were introduced in a motif of three or five amino acids located in the N-terminal part of the coat protein, and differing in isolates from group 1 (motif: lysine-glutamic acid-alanine (Lys-Glu-Ala) or KEA, systemic on C. quinoa), group 2 (Lys-Glu-Thr or KET, not systemic on C. quinoa) and group 3 (KEKET, not systemic on C. quinoa). Mutagenesis of KEKET in an isolate from group 3 to KEA or KEKEA was sufficient to make the virus systemic on C. quinoa, whereas mutagenesis to KET had no effect. Introduction of a KEA motif in Zucchini yellow mosaic virus coat protein also resulted in systemic infection on C. quinoa. These mutations had no obvious effect on the disorder profile or potential post-translational modifications of the coat protein as determined in silico.