Advanced backcross QTL (AB-QTL) analysis was used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for yield and yield components in a BC(2)F(2) population derived from a cross between the German winter wheat variety 'Prinz' and the synthetic wheat line W-7984 developed by CIMMYT. Two hundred and ten microsatellite markers were employed to genotype 72 pre-selected BC(2)F(2) plants and phenotypic data were collected for five agronomic traits from corresponding BC(2)F(3) families that were grown at four locations in Germany. Using single-marker regression and interval mapping, a total of 40 putative QTLs derived from W-7984 were detected, of which 11 were for yield, 16 for yield components, eight for ear emergence time and five for plant height. For 24 (60.0%) of them, alleles from the synthetic wheat W-7984 were associated with a positive effect on agronomic traits, despite the fact that synthetic wheat was overall inferior with respect to agronomic appearance and performance. The present study indicated that favorable QTL alleles could be transferred from wild relatives of wheat into an elite wheat variety for improvement of quantitative trait loci like yield by the advanced backcross QTL strategy and molecular breeding. To our knowledge, the results presented here were the first report on AB-QTL analysis in wheat.