The genomic diversity of 33 previously assigned strains from six species within the genus Pediococcus was assessed by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) PCR and pulsed-field-gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The RAPD PCR patterns produced by two separate random primers, termed P1 (ACGCGCCCT) and P2 (ATGTAACGCC), were compared by the Pearson correlation coefficient and the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic averages clustering algorithm. Pattern variations between repeat samples set a strain discrimination threshold of less than 70% similarity. P1 and P2 primers alone and in combination produced 14, 21, and 28 distinct patterns, respectively. When each strain was assigned with a type strain with which it shared the highest level of similarity, both primers grouped 17 of the 27 strains to their proposed species. PFGE following genomic digestion with the restriction enzymes ApaI, NotI, and AscI produced 30, 32, and 28 distinct macrorestriction patterns, respectively. Specific DNA fragments within the NotI and AscI macrorestriction patterns for each strain were observed that allowed 27 of the 33 strains to be assigned to their proposed species. For example, following digestion with AscI, all Pediococcus parvulus strains were characterized by two DNA fragments, one of approximately 220 kb and another between 700 and 800 kb. The exceptions correlated with those observed with both RAPD PCR primers and included three P. damnosus and two P. pentosaceus strains that grew at temperatures regarded as nonpermissive for their proposed species but not for those with which they grouped.