We describe a PCR system that distinguishes the A, B and D genomes in wheat DNA extracts. PCRs were directed at the 'non-transcribed spacer' regions of the rDNA loci. The spacers within the D genome locus have a 71-bp insertion that is absent from the corresponding A and B loci. PCR product sizes therefore enable D- and D+ genomes to be distinguished. The A and B genomes can be differentiated by PCR with an internal primer which does not anneal to A genome sequences. This work is relevant to the ancient ecology of wheat, as it is often difficult to determine ploidy level from morphological examination of archaeobotanical remains.