Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) controlling the plant-regeneration ability of Brassica oleracea protoplasts were mapped in a population of 128 F(2) plants derived from a cross between the high-responding, rapid-cycling line and a low-responding, broccoli breeding line of B. oleracea. A modified bulked segregant analysis with AFLP markers identified two QTLs for plant regeneration. In a multiple regression analysis, the two QTLs explained 83% of the total genetic variation for regeneration recorded 15 weeks after initial transfer of microcalli to regeneration medium. Both QTLs showed additive effects, and the alleles contributing to the high regeneration frequencies were derived from the high-responding, rapid-cycling line. Using microsatellites with known location, the two QTLs were mapped to linkage groups O2 and O9 on the map published by Sebastian et al. [(2000) Theor Appl Genet 100:75-81] or to chromosomes C8 and C7 on the map published by Saal et al. [(2001) Theor Appl Genet 102:695-699]. QTLs for the early flowering trait of the rapid-cycling parent have previously been mapped to the same two linkage groups. Association between flowering time and regeneration ability was, however, not found in the present material, indicating that plant-regeneration ability can be transferred between cultivars independently of the early flowering trait. The detection of two major QTLs for plant regeneration in B. oleracea may provide the initial step towards the identification of markers suitable for marker-assisted selection of regeneration ability.