A restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay was developed to examine the genetic relationship between 67 (29 Indian, 38 global) rotavirus isolates of human, bovine and porcine neonates. The assay involved direct digestion of RT–PCR amplified VP7 cDNAs with three restriction enzymes (VspI, HaeIII, NlaIV) independently. Forty-eight RFLP patterns were identified for all 67 strains, and of these 20 patterns were associated with Indian isolates. A correlation between the restriction patterns and G type was apparent through deduction of enzyme restriction sites from known sequences. Major G serotypes (G1, G2, G6, G8) with a few mixed types could be differentiated where there was a positive assortment of intrinsic serotypes from multiple host origin, and certain single or combined enzyme profiles were highly dominant in the population. Significant genetic variations were established between global and Indian isolates and none of the RFLP patterns were shared between them. These data suggest that the Indian wild-type rotavirus population is distinguishable based on the VP7 gene, and co-circulation of distinct strains in different hosts is foremost, indicating the possible likelihood of inter-species transmission.