Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) has been widely used in the physical mapping of genes and chromosome landmarks in plants and animals. Bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) contain large inserts making them amenable for FISH mapping. We used BAC-FISH to study genome organization and evolution in hexaploid wheat and its relatives. We selected 56 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) locus-specific BAC clones from libraries of Aegilops tauschii (the D-genome donor of hexaploid wheat) and A-genome diploid Triticum monococcum. Different types of repetitive sequences were identified using BAC-FISH. Two BAC clones gave FISH patterns similar to the repetitive DNA family pSc119; one BAC clone gave a FISH pattern similar to the repetitive DNA family pAs1. In addition, we identified several novel classes of repetitive sequences: one BAC clone hybridized to the centromeric regions of wheat and other cereal species, except rice; one BAC clone hybridized to all subtelomeric chromosome regions in wheat, rye, barley and oat; one BAC clone contained a localized tandem repeat and hybridized to five D-genome chromosome pairs in wheat; and four BAC clones hybridized only to a proximal region in the long arm of chromosome 4A of hexaploid wheat. These repeats are valuable markers for defined chromosome regions and can also be used for chromosome identification. Sequencing results revealed that all these repeats are transposable elements (TEs), indicating the important role of TEs, especially retrotransposons, in genome evolution of wheat.