Mutations of proto-oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes lead to neoplastic development. Some germline mutations of these genes increase the tumor susceptibility of their carriers, but the relationship between genes controlling tumor susceptibility and the known oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes remains unelucidated. Moreover, as tumor susceptibility in mouse is controlled by multiple genes, their identification has been virtually impossible. We therefore developed a new system, the recombinant congenic strains (RCS), which separates individual susceptibility genes into different RC strains, thus facilitating their analysis. To map genes controlling the development of colon cancer, we used the Balb/c-c-STS (CcS/Dem) RC strains. Owing to several unidentified genes, Balb/cHeA mice are relatively resistant and STS/A mice highly susceptible to 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-(DMH)-induced colon adenocarcinomas. Each CcS/Dem strain carries a different subset of about 12.5% of genes of the STS strain on the Balb/c background, and individual STS susceptibility genes became segregated into different RC strains. Using CcS-19, one of the highly susceptible RC strains, we mapped a novel colon tumor susceptibility gene, Scc-1, different from the oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes known to be involved in colon tumorigenesis, in the vicinity of CD44 (Ly-24, Pgp-1) on chromosome 2. The mapping of the Scc-1 gene indicates that the RCS system can be used to map and study the presently unknown genes which control cancer development.