- Clones of Hylocereus and of Selenicereus species were distinguished from each other by the banding pattern generated by one to nine 10-mer oligonucleotide primers in the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) reaction. RAPD analysis was also applied to estimate the genetic relationship among five Hylocereus and nine Selenicereus species. A dendrogram was constructed based on a data matrix of 173 polymorphic bands originated by nine primers. Two groups were identified, one consisting of Hylocereus species and the other consisting of Selenicereus species. These results are consistent with the accepted taxonomic classification of the genera studied. The principal coordinate analysis (PCO), i.e. the plot drawn on the basis of the RAPD data, clearly distinguished between three groups, namely, Hylocereus species, S. megalanthus and the rest of the Selenicereus species studied. PCO thus strongly support the notion that the tetraploid S. megalanthus is an exception among the Selenicereus group. The RAPD results support our hypothesis regarding the allopolyploid (rather than autopolyploid) origin of this species.