We have used the linkage disequilibrium mapping method to test for an association between a candidate gene marker and resistance to Verticillium dahliae in tetraploid potato. A probe derived from the tomato Verticillium resistance gene ( Ve1) identified homologous sequences ( StVe1) in potato, which in a diploid population map to chromosome 9, in a position analogous to that of the tomato resistance gene. When a molecular marker closely linked (1.5 cM) to the homologues was used as a candidate gene marker on 137 tetraploid potato genotypes (mostly North American cultivars), the association between the marker and resistance was confirmed ( P<0.001). The amount of phenotypic variation in resistance explained by the allele of the STM1051 marker was greater than 10% and 25% in two subpopulations that were inferred from coancestry data matrix. Cloning of homologues from the highly resistant potato cv. Reddale indicates that the resistance quantitative trait locus (QTL) comprises at least an eleven-member family, encoding plant-specific leucine-rich repeat proteins highly similar to the tomato Ve genes. The sequence analysis shows that all homologues are uninterrupted open reading frames and thus represent putative functional resistance genes. This is the first time that the linkage disequilibrium method has been used to find an association between a resistance gene and a candidate gene marker in tetraploid potato. We have shown that it is possible to map QTL directly on already available potato cultivars, without developing a new mapping population.