S1 analysis of long PCR heteroduplexes was found to be an effective method for detecting phylogenetically informative indel (insertion/deletion) polymorphisms in the highly conserved strawberry chloroplast genome. In this broadly applicable method, long-range PCR products containing heteroduplex DNA molecules generated from mixed-template amplifications are subjected to S1 nuclease digestion followed by separation and visualization on an agarose gel. The presence of fragments resulting from S1 digestion of mismatch loops in heteroduplex molecules is indicative of indel polymorphism between the template sources. Upon analysis of 13-kb heteroduplex-containing PCR products spanning the petA-psbB chloroplast genome region in Fragaria vesca and Fragaria moschata, two indels distinguishing these species were detected, and subsequently localized to the psbJ-psbL and rpl20-rps18 intergenic regions. Comparative sequencing of these regions revealed that F. moschata resembled Fragaria viridis, but differed from F. vesca, Fragaria nubicola, and a closely related outgroup representative, Duchesnea indica, by a 10-bp deletion in the psbJ-psbL region and a 10-bp insertion in the rpl20-rps18 region. Thus, of the three diploids (2n = 2x = 14) examined, F. viridis is favored over F. vesca and F. nubicola as the most likely chloroplast genome donor to hexaploid (2n = 6x = 42) F. moschata.