Abstract: Twenty-one random and 29 SSR primers were used to assess genetic variation and interrelationships among subspecies and botanical varieties of cultivated peanut, Arachis hypogaea (2n = 4x = 40), and phylogenetic relationships among cultivated peanut and wild species of the genus Arachis. In contrast with the previous generalization that peanut accessions lack genetic variation, both random and SSR primers revealed 42.7 and 54.4% polymorphism, respectively, among 220 and 124 genetic loci amplified from 13 accessions. Moreover, the dendrograms based on RAPD, ISSR, and RAPD + ISSR data precisely organized the five botanical varieties of the two subspecies into five clusters. One SSR primer was identified that could distinguish all the accessions analysed within a variety. Although the polymorphic index content varied from 0.1 to 0.5 for both ISSR and RAPD markers, primer index values were substantially higher for RAPD primers (0.35-4.65) than for SSR primers (0.35-1.73). It was possible to identify accessions, particularly those of divergent origins, by RAPD and (or) ISSR fingerprints. Based on these results, marker-based genetic improvement in A. hypogaea appears possible. None of the 486 RAPD and 330 ISSR amplification products were found to be commonly shared among 13 species of section Arachis and one species each of sections Heteranthae, Rhizomatosae, and Procumbentes. Dendrograms constructed from RAPD, ISSR, and RAPD + ISSR data showed overall similar topologies. They could be resolved into four groups corresponding to the species grouped in four taxonomic sections. The present results strongly support the view that Arachis monticola (2n = 4x = 40) and A. hypogaea are very closely related, and indicate that A. villosa and A. ipaensis are the diploid wild progenitors of these tetraploid species.