A collection of 120 Ethiopian tetraploid wheat accessions was analysed for high-molecular weight (HMW) glutenin subunit, low-molecular weight (LMW) glutenin subunit and omega gliadin composition by SDS–PAGE. For the HMW glutenin subunits, a new allelic variant, 2****, was detected which has not been previously described at the Glu-A1 locus. A high proportion of Glu-A1x banding pattern was observed in durum wheat. For the Glu-B1 locus four different banding patterns were detected. Among those HMW glutenin subunits, 7+8 were the most common, while subunits 14+15 and 6+8 were found to be rare. A high degree of variation was evident for the LMW glutenin subunits and D-zone omega gliadins. The association of the composition of the gluten with quality has been discussed. This wide variation can be used in improving the quality of wheat and to widen its genetic base.