Selected strains of filamentous Phormidium-like cyanobacteria isolated from two Arctic regions (Ellesmere Island, High Canadian Arctic and Svalbard) and from Antarctica (Antarctic peninsula, South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands) were studied. The polyphasic approach used included phenotypic observations of morphological features and genotypic analyses (restriction fragment length polymorphism of 16S rRNA gene, internal transcribed space, 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis). Although genotypes generally correspond to observed morphotypes, the genetic analyses revealed a high degree of biodiversity that could not be unveiled using solely morphological evaluations. According to the phylogenetic analysis, the three clones were divided into two major clades, indicating that the phylogenetic distance between Arct-Ph5/Ant-Ph68 and Ant-Ph58 was so large they belonged to different genera. The polyphyletic position of strains of the genus Phormidium was confirmed by this study, attesting the need to entirely revise classification in this taxon in the future.