An RFLP linkage map of the wild sugarcane species Saccharum spontaneum L. (2n = 8x = 40-128) was constructed, comprising 216 loci, detected by 116 DNA probes, and distributed over 44 linkage groups. At a density of at least one marker every 25-cM interval, the coverage of the genome was estimated as 86%. For the generation of RFLP markers, probes were surveyed from seven DNA libraries: three sugarcane cDNA, one oat cDNA, one rice cDNA, and one barley cDNA, as well as one sugarcane genomic. Sixty-two maize genomic clones that were previously mapped on maize were used to initiate a comparative map between the sugarcane, sorghum, and maize genomes. Based on the RFLP segregation data, we conclude that this species is an autopolyploid, with an estimated genome size of 2107 cM.