The progenitor diploid genomes (A and C) of the amphidiploid Brassica napus are extensively duplicated with 73% of genomic clones detecting two or more duplicate sequences within each of the diploid genomes. This comprehensive duplication of loci is to be expected in a species that has evolved through a polyploid ancestor. The majority of the duplicate loci within each of the diploid genomes were found in distinct linkage groups as collinear blocks of linked loci, some of which had undergone a variety of rearrangements subsequent to duplication, including inversions and translocations. A number of identical rearrangements were observed in the two diploid genomes, suggesting they had occurred before the divergence of the two species. A number of linkage groups displayed an organization consistent with centric fusion and (or) fission, suggesting this mechanism may have played a role in the evolution of Brassica genomes. For almost every genetically mapped locus detected in the A genome a homologous locus was found in the C genome; the collinear arrangement of these homologous markers allowed the primary regions of homoeology between the two genomes to be identified. At least 16 gross chromosomal rearrangements differentiated the two diploid genomes during their divergence from a common ancestor.