Background. Hepatitis C virus isolates have been classified into six main genotypes and a variable number of subtypes within each genotype, mainly based on phylogenetic analysis. Analyses of the genetic relationship among genotypes and subtypes are more reliable when complete genome sequences (or at least the full coding region) are used; however, so far 31 of 80 confirmed or proposed subtypes have at least one complete genome available. Of these, 20 correspond to confirmed subtypes of epidemic interest. Results. We present and analyse the first complete genome sequence of a HCV subtype 1g isolate. Phylogenetic and genetic distance analyses reveal that HCV-1g is the most divergent subtype among the HCV-1 confirmed subtypes. Potential genomic recombination events between genotypes or subtype 1 genomes were ruled out. We demonstrate phylogenetic congruence of previously deposited partial sequences of HCV-1g with respect to our sequence. Conclusion. In light of this, we propose changing the current status of its subtype-specific designation from provisional to confirmed. © 2008 Bracho et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.