Members of the genus Buchnera constitute a distinct prokaryotic lineage containing the primary endosymbionts of aphids (Homoptera: Aphidoidea). Using synthetic oligonucleotides in conjunction with the polymerase chain reaction, we propose three approaches for the identification of members of this genus. The first is based on unique sequences within rrs (gene coding for 16S ribosomal RNA). The second is based on a different and unique organization of the ribosomal RNA operons of Buchnera and the close proximity of aroE upstream of rrl (gene coding for 23S rRNA). The third is based on the linkage relationship of argS which is upstream of rrs. Validation of these three approaches requires their more extensive application.