The complex polyploid genomes of three Saccharum species have been aligned with the compact diploid genome of Sorghum (2n = 2x = 20). A set of 428 DNA probes from different Poaceae (grasses) detected 2460 loci in F1 progeny of the crosses Saccharum officinarum Green German x S. spontaneum IND 81-146, and S. spontaneum PIN 84-1 x S. officinarum Muntok Java. Thirty-one DNA probes detected 226 loci in S. officinarum LA Purple x S. robustum Molokai 5829. Genetic maps of the six Saccharum genotypes, including up to 72 linkage groups, were assembled into "homologous groups" based on parallel arrangements of duplicated loci. About 84% of the loci mapped by 242 common probes were homologous between Saccharum and Sorghum. Only one interchromosomal and two intrachromosomal rearrangements differentiated both S. officinarum and S. spontaneum from Sorghum, but 11 additional cases of chromosome structural polymorphism were found within Saccharum. Diploidization was advanced in S. robustum, incipient in S. officinarum, and absent in S. spontaneum, consistent with biogeographic data suggesting that S. robustum is the ancestor of S. officinarum, but raising new questions about the antiquity of S. spontaneum. The densely mapped Sorghum genome will be a valuable tool in ongoing molecular analysis of the complex Saccharum genome.