A major QTL for P uptake had previously been mapped to a 13-cM marker interval on the long arm of chromosome 12. To map that major QTL with higher precision and certainty, a secondary mapping population was developed by backcrossing a near-isogenic line containing the QTL from the donor parent to the recurrent parent of low P uptake. Two different mapping strategies have been followed in this study. A conventional QTL mapping approach was based on individual F(2) RFLP data and the phenotypic evaluation of family means in the F(3). The second strategy employed a substitution-mapping approach. Phenotypic and marker data were obtained for 160 F(3) individuals of six highly informative families that differed in the size of donor chromosomal segments in the region of the putative QTL. QTL mapping showed that close to 80% of the variation between families was due to a single QTL, hereafter referred to as Pup1 (Phosphorus uptake 1). Pup1 was placed in a 3-cM interval flanked by markers S14025 and S13126, which is within 1 cM of the position identified in the original QTL mapping experiment. Other chromosomal regions and epistatic effects were not significant. Substitution mapping revealed that Pup1 co-segregated with marker S13126 and that the flanking markers, S14025 and S13752, were outside the interval containing Pup1. The two mapping strategies therefore yielded almost identical results and, in combining the advantages of both, Pup1 could be mapped with high certainty. The QTL mapping appoach showed that the phenotypic variation between families was due to only one QTL without any additional epistacic interactions, whereas the advantage of substitution mapping was to place clearly defined borders around the QTL.