Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a fish rhabdovirus that causes significant mortality in salmonid species. In North America IHNV has three major genogroups designated U, M, and L. Host-specificity of the M and U genogroups of IHNV has been established both in the field and in experimental challenges, with M isolates being more prevalent and more virulent in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and U isolates being more prevalent and highly virulent in sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). In this study, efficacy of DNA vaccines containing either M (pM) or U (pU) virus glycoprotein genes was investigated during intra- and cross-genogroup challenges in rainbow trout. In virus challenges at 7 days post-vaccination (early antiviral response), both pM and pU were highly protective against either M or U IHNV. In challenges at 28 days post-vaccination (specific antiviral response), both pM and pU were protective against M IHNV but the homologous pM vaccine was significantly more protective than pU in one of two experiments. At this stage both pM and pU induced comparably high protection against U IHNV challenge. Correlates of protection were also investigated by assessing the expression of the interferon-stimulated gene Mx-1 and the production of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) following pM or pU DNA vaccination. Mx-1 gene expression, measured at 4 and 7 days post-vaccination as an indicator of the host innate immune response, was found to be significantly higher after pM than pU vaccination in some cases. Neutralizing antibody was produced in response to the two vaccines, but antibody titers did not show consistent correlation with protection. The results show that the rainbow trout innate and adaptive immune responses have some ability to distinguish between the U and M genogroup IHNV, but overall the pM and pU vaccines were protective against both homologous and cross-genogroup challenges.