Molecular marker analysis is becoming increasingly capable of identifying informative genetic variation. Amplified fragment length polymorphism markers (AFLPs) are among the recent innovations in genetic marker technologies, and provide a greater capacity for genome coverage and more reproducible results than previous technologies. We have investigated the usefulness of AFLP, which is based on the selective amplification of genomic restriction fragments by PCR, to differentiate between geographical unrelated Microcystis strains. In total 23 strains were subjected to the AFLP fingerprinting. After analysis of the data on the basis of the average linkage method, known as the Unweighted Pair Group Method using Arithmetic averages (UPGMA), a dendrogram with 4 clusters was obtained. Cluster 1 consisted mainly of the NIES strains that originated from Japan, while in cluster 2 the European strains grouped together. The South African strains that originated from the northern part of the country grouped together in cluster 3, while the strains collected from the central and southern regions grouped together with the US strains in cluster 4. The study had revealed extensive evidence for the applicability of AFLP in cyanobacterial taxonomy, and furthermore clearly demonstrates the superior discriminative power of AFLP towards the differentiation of geographical unrelated Microcystis aeruginosa strains that belong to the same species, as well as highlighting the potential of this fingerprinting method in evolutionary studies.