The technique random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR was evaluated as a method to differentiate Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus amylovorus, Lactobacillus gallinarum, Lactobacillus gasseri, and Lactobacillus johnsonii. Representative strains, including the type of each species, were selected from different clusters obtained by numerical analysis of total soluble cell protein patterns. Results obtained by RAPD-PCR corresponded well with results obtained by numerical analysis of total soluble cell protein patterns. The type strains of each species displayed different RAPD profiles. Strains with identical L(+)- nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent lactic dehydrogenase (nLDH) electrophoretic profiles could be distinguished on the basis of their RAPD profiles.