The duplicated and rearranged nature of plant genomes frequently complicates identification, chromosomal assignment and eventual manipulation of DNA segments. Separating an individual chromosome from its native complement by adding it to an alien genetic background together with the generation of radiation hybrids from such an addition line can enable or simplify structural and functional analyses of complex duplicated genomes. We have established fertile disomic addition lines for each of the individual maize chromosomes, except chromosome 10, with oat as the host species; DNA is available for chromosome 10 in a haploid oat background. We report on instability and transmission in disomic additions of maize chromosomes 1, 5, and 8; the chromosome 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9 additions appear stable. The photoperiodic response of the two recovered maize chromosome 1 addition lines contrasts to the long-day flowering response of the oat parents and the other addition lines. Only when grown under short days did maize chromosome 1 addition lines set seed, and only one line transmitted the maize chromosome 1 to offspring. Low resolution radiation hybrid maps are presented for maize chromosomes 2 and 9 to illustrate the use of radiation hybrids for rapid physical mapping of large numbers of DNA sequences, such as ESTs. The potential of addition and radiation hybrid lines for mapping duplicated sequences or gene families to chromosome segments is presented and also the use of the lines to test interactions between genes located on different maize chromosomes as observed for ectopic expression of cell fate alterations.