The genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) technique was used to discriminate between chromosomes of the C genome and those of the A and A/D genomes in allopolyploid oat species (genus Avena). Total biotinylated DNA from A. strigosa (2n = 2x = 14, AsAs genome) was mixed with sheared, unlabelled total DNA from A. eriantha (2n = 2x = 14, CpCp) at a ratio of 1:200 (labelled to unlabelled). The resulting hybridization pattern consisted of 28 mostly labelled and 14 mostly unlabelled chromosomes in the hexaploids. Attempts to discriminate between chromosomes of the A and D genomes in A. sativa (2n = 6x = 42, AACCDD) were unsuccessful using GISH. At least eight intergenomic translocation segments were detected in A. sativa 'Ogle', several of which were not observed in A. byzantina 'Kanota' (2n = 6x = 42, AACCDD) or in A. sterilis CW 439-2 (2n = 6x = 42, AACCDD). At least five intergenomic translocation segments were observed in A. maroccana CI 8330 'Magna' (2n = 4x = 28, AACC). In both 'Ogle' and 'Magna', positions of most of these translocations matched with C-banding patterns.