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Recently, multiple kernel learning (MKL) methods have been developed to improve the flexibility of kernel-based learning machine. The MKL methods generally focus on determining key kernels to be preserved and their significance in optimal kernel combination. Unfortunately, computational demand of finding the optimal combination is prohibitive when the number of training samples and kernels increase rapidly, particularly for hyperspectral remote sensing data. In this paper, we address the MKL for classification in hyperspectral images by extracting the most variation from the space spanned by multiple kernels and propose a representative MKL (RMKL) algorithm. The core idea embedded in the algorithm is to determine the kernels to be preserved and their weights according to statistical significance instead of time-consuming search for optimal kernel combination. The noticeable merits of RMKL consist that it greatly reduces the computational load for searching optimal combination of basis kernels and has no limitation from strict selection of basis kernels like most MKL algorithms do; meanwhile, RMKL keeps excellent properties of MKL in terms of both good classification accuracy and interpretability. Experiments are conducted on different real hyperspectral data, and the corresponding experimental results show that RMKL algorithm provides the best performances to date among several the state-of-the-art algorithms while demonstrating satisfactory computational efficiency.