Genetic maps of chromosomes 3A, 3B and 3D of wheat and 3R of rye were developed using 22 DNA probes and two isozyme marker systems. Analysis of the 49 loci mapped showed extreme clustering around the centromere in all four maps, with large 'gaps' in the distal chromosome regions, which is interpreted as being due to strong localisation of recombination towards the ends of the wheat and rye chromosomes. In the centromeric regions gene orders are highly conserved between the three wheat genomes and the rye genome. However, the unpredictable behaviour of the DNA clones that map in distal chromosome locations may indicate that the genomes are diverging most rapidly in the regions of higher recombination. A comparison of cDNA and genomic probes showed the latter to be much more efficient for revealing RFLP. Some classes of gDNA clones, i.e. chromosome-specific sequences and those hybridizing in a non-homoeologous manner, were seen to be most polymorphic. Correlations between map locations and RFLP levels showed no clear relationship. In addition to anonymous DNA clones, the locations of known function clones, sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase (XSbp), carboxypeptidase I (XCxp1) and a bZIP protein (XEmbp), were ascertained along with those for two isozyme loci, Mal-1 and Est-5.