An aberrant random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) marker in genomic DNA of tissue culture plantlets was frequently observed during a comparison of DNA fingerprints derived from potato germplasm grown in tissue culture and the field. The RAPD marker was cloned, sequenced and determined to be of bacterial origin. A bacterial contaminant was isolated from the tissue culture plants and identified as a Bacillus pumilus. A set of sequence characterised amplified region (SCAR) primers were designed from the sequence of the cloned fragment and tested for the specific detection of B. pumilus. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphisms (PCR-RFLPs) were also used to generate B. pumilus profiles specific to our isolate in order to test and confirm the sequence homology of amplified markers generated from a range of DNA samples isolated from tissue culture plants and pure isolates of B. pumilus-like bacteria.