When planning optimal conservation strategies for wild and cultivated types of a plant species, a number of influencing biological and environmental factors should be considered from the outset. In the present study Brassica rapa was used to illustrate this: to develop Scandinavian conservation strategies for wild and cultivated B. rapa, DNA-marker analysis was performed on 15 cultivated and 17 wild accessions of B. rapa plus 8 accessions of the cross compatible B. napus. The B. rapa cultivars were bred in Sweden and Finland in 1944–1997 and the wild B. rapa material was collected from Denmark, Sweden and United Kingdom. The B. napus accessions were bred within the last 20 years in the Scandinavian countries. Results were based on scoring of 131 polymorphic ISSR markers in the total plant material. A Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach implemented in NewHybrids demonstrated a clear distinction of B. rapa and B. napus individuals except for three individuals that seemed to be backcrosses. The backcrossed hybrids descended from two Swedish populations, one wild and one escaped. The overall pattern of genetic variation and structure in B. rapa showed that cultivated and wild B. rapa accessions formed two almost separated clusters. Geographical origin and breeding history of cultivars were reflected in these genetic relationships. In addition, wild populations from Denmark and Sweden seemed to be closely related, except for a Swedish population, which seemingly was an escaped cultivar. The study point to that many processes, e.g. spontaneous introgression, naturalisation, breeding and agricultural practise affected the genetic structure of wild and cultivated B. rapa populations.