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The present status of galactic dynamo theory is discussed. A new concept which allows the determination of marginal dynamo numbers for axisymmetric as well as non-axisymmetric large-scale magnetic field modes in axisymmetric disks is applied to a simple galaxy model. The results obtained so far show that a preference of non-axisymmetric fields can only be expected if the α-effect is highly anisotropic and the differential rotation is not too strong. Mostly axisymmetric-spiral fields have to bedoi:10.1017/s0074180900189661 fatcat:akyaa2xyrbbkdplbkwthw6k7eq