This study reports the molecular characterization, polymorphism, and phylogenetic relationships of Triticum aestivum, T. dicoccoides, T. urartu, and T. monococcum ssp. boeoticum, obtained from different locations in Anatolia, using 33 primer combinations to generate amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) patterns in 31 individual plant samples. The objectives of this work were to estimate the phylogenetic relationships between these species and to investigate the genetic distance as a result of ecological and climatic factors. The origin of the A genome of polyploid wheats is also discussed. Eight hundred and seventy-five AFLP fragments had polymorphic loci, 133 of which were unique to T. monococcum ssp. boeoticum, 66 were unique to T. urartu, and 141 were unique to T. dicoccoides. Analysis using the program POPGENE showed polymorphism levels of T. monococcum ssp. boeoticum, T. urartu, and T. dicoccoides of 42.63, 32.34, and 27.71%, respectively. No correlation between genetic distance and ecological or climatic factors was recorded in this study. Our results support the hypothesis that T. urartu is a diploid ancestor of T. dicoccoides and T. aestivum. (c) 2007 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2007, 153, 67-72.