A reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) was established to amplify a 379-bp cDNA fragment (nucleotides 747 to 1126, coding for amino acids 241 to 367) of the VP6 gene of group A rotaviruses associated with subgroup (SG) specificity. Thirty-eight human rotavirus strains characterized with SG-specific monoclonal antibodies were subjected to VP6-specific RT-PCR, and PCR amplicons were used for sequencing. Nucleic acid sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the VP6 amplicons revealed two clusters, or genogroups. Two genetic lineages were distinguished within genogroup I, consisting of strains serologically characterized as SG I, and three genetic lineages were distinguished within genogroup II, composed of strains serologically characterized as SG II, SG I + II, and SG non-I, non-II. Subgrouping of rotaviruses by means of serological methods may result in strains not being assigned the correct SG or in a failure of strains to subgroup. Molecular characterization of the SG-defining region of VP6 provided evidence for independent segregation of the rotavirus genes encoding VP4, VP6, and VP7.