Chloroplast DNA restriction sites for 20 endonucleases were mapped using cpDNA probes from Brassica juncea and site variation was surveyed in 33 diploid taxa of the Subtribe Brassicinae. A total of 419 mutations was observed, including both site (i.e., gain/ loss) and fragment length (i.e., insertions or deletions); 221 (53%) mutations showed variation at the interspecific level. Phylogenetic analysis indicated a clear division of the subtribe into two ancient evolutionary lineages. These were (I) the "Nigra" lineage: Brassica nigra, B. fruticulosa, B. tournefortii, Sinapis pubescens, S. alba, S. flexuosa, S. arvensis, Coincya cheiranthos, Erucastrum canariense, and Hirschfeldia incana, and (II) the "Rapa/ Oleracea" lineage: Brassica rapa, B. oleracea ssp. oleracea and ssp. alboglabra, B. rupestris-villosa complex (B. rupestris, B. drepanensis, B. macrocarpa, B. villosa), B. barrelieri, B. deflexa, B. oxyrrhina, B. gravinae, Diplotaxis erucoides, D. tenuifolia, Eruca sativa, Raphanus raphanistrum, R. sativus, and Sinapis aucheri. In the "Nigra" lineage, Brassica nigra was most closely related to the annual Sinapis species, S. arvensis and S. alba. In the "Rapa/Oleracea" lineage, the Brassica rapa and B. oleracea genomes formed a distinct group whose closest relatives were the wild species of the B. oleracea (n=9) complex (i.e., B. rupestris-villosa complex). Species with n=7 chromosomes exist in both lineages. Hirschfeldia incana (n=7), in the "Nigra" lineage, was most closely related to Sinapis pubescens. In the "Rapa/Oleracea" lineage three taxa with n=7 - B. deflexa, D. erucoides, and S. aucheri - were closely related, advanced in the lineage, and were the closest apparent relatives (particularly D. erucoides) to B. rapa, B. oleracea, and its wild relatives. Levels of genetic divergence suggested by the cpDNA data were consistent with cytodeme recognition in the subtribe, but provided evidence for inconsistencies in the current generic delimitations based on morphology. Very low levels of genetic divergence were evident among taxa/accessions within a cytodeme. Raphanus was closely related to the Brassica rapa and B. oleracea genomes and clearly belongs in Subtribe Brassicinae. Several cytoplasmic genetic markers of potential use in plant breeding programs were identified for each of the cytodemes.