Sequence related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers were used to detect molecular marker polmorphisms among 86 citrus and their relatives in Aurantioidea. Twenty-one SRAP primer combinations produced a total of 376 polymorphic fragments with an average of 17.9 per primer combination and an average polymorphism information content (PIC) of 0.86. The unweighted pair group method arithmetic average (UPGMA) analysis demonstrated that the accessions had a similarity range from 0.28 to 1.00 with a mean of 0.64. The subtribe Clauseninae (tribe Clauseneae) separated from the subtribes of the tribe Citreae. The subtribe Balsamocitrinae (tribe Citreae) was the most distant from the others. In the Citrinae, 'primitive citrus fruit trees' and 'near citrus fruit trees' groups did not clearly separate from each other but all genera in these groups were distinct. On the other hand, subgenus Papeda and subgenus Citrus were not separated clearly in the dendrogram. C. maxima, C. medica and C. reticulata separated into three distinct clusters in agreement with three 'true basic species' thesis. Similarity-based analyses supported the theory of few ancestral species in Aurantioidea. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V.