An efficient technique for cloning DNA from silver-stained denaturing polyacrylamide gels was developed to allow the isolation of specific bands obtained from selective restriction fragment amplification (SRFA). This method proved as reliable as cloning radioactively labelled SRFA bands from the same gels. Rice DNA was used as a template, both with and without [32P]dCTP, using the same PCR profiles. Amplified products were separated using denaturing polyacryamide gel electrophoresis and visualized either by silver staining of gels or by autoradiography of 32P-labelled products. We cloned specific polymorphic SRFA bands directly from the denaturing polyacrylamide gels with one round of PCR amplification and confirmed that the sequences of the bands from silver-stained gels were identical to the corresponding 32P-labelled bands. The bands that were chosen represented amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) between japonica and indica rice varieties. We studied the ability of two cloned AFLP bands to serve as heritable genetic markers by mapping them as RFLPs in an interspecific rice population and found that they represented single-copy DNA at unique loci in the rice genome.