Genetic linkage maps based on restriction fragment length polymorphisms are useful for many purposes; however, different populations are required to fulfill different objectives. Clones from the linkage map(s) are subsequently probed onto populations developed for special purposes such as gene tagging. Therefore, clones contained on the initial map(s) must be polymorphic on a wide range of genotypes to have maximum utility. The objectives of this research were to (i) calculate polymorphism information content values of 51 low-copy DNA clones and (ii) use the resulting values to choose potential mapping parents. Polymorphism information content was calculated using gene diversity by classifying restriction fragment patterns on a diverse set of 18 wheat genotypes. Combinations of potential parents were then compared by examining both the proportion of polymorphic clones and the likelihood that those mapped clones would give a polymorphism when used on other populations. Genotype pairs were identified that would map more highly informative DNA clones compared with a population derived from the most polymorphic potential parents. The methodologies used to characterize clones and rank potential parents should be applicable to other species and types of markers as well.