In rye (Secale cereale L.), 2 types of cytoplasmic male sterility are known: Pampa type (CMS-P) and Vavilovii type (CMS-V). As an alternative method to the conventional plasmotype-genotype interaction test, for identification of the cytoplasm type, the use of sequence-characterised amplified region (SCAR) markers was validated in this study. In over 2600 individual rye plants, representing 26 populations originating from Poland (18 cultivars), Iran (5 populations of primitive rye), and South America (3 populations), the cytoplasm type was determined by using a set of 3 SCAR markers. For about 10% of these individuals, the plasmotype-genotype interaction test was performed in parallel. The results of both tests were fully consistent. In the majority of the Polish populations, CMS-V was present, and only 4 populations contained CMS-P. Primitive Iranian populations contained predominantly normal cytoplasm, and only occasionally CMS-P was identified in them. South American populations displayed a mixture of normal cytoplasm, CMS-P and CMS-V. This work validates the use of SCAR markers as a reliable and quick method to determine the plasmotypic diversity of rye populations on a large scale.