The patterns of chromosome pairing and recombination in two contrasting Brassica napus F1 hybrids were deduced. One hybrid was from a winter oilseed rape (WOSR) x spring oilseed rape cross, the other from a resynthesized B. napus x WOSR cross. Segregation at 211 equivalent loci assayed in the population derived from each hybrid produced two collinear genetic maps. Alignment of the maps indicated that B. napus chromosomes behaved reproducibly as 19 homologous pairs and that the 19 distinct chromosomes of B. napus each recombined with unique chromosomes from the interspecific hybrid between Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea. This result indicated that the genomes of the diploid progenitors of amphidiploid B. napus have remained essentially unaltered since the formation of the species and that the progenitor genomes were similar to those of modern-day B. rapa and B. oleracea. The frequency and distribution of crossovers were almost indistinguishable in the two populations, suggesting that the recombination machinery of B. napus could cope easily with different degrees of genetic divergence between homologous chromosomes. Efficient recombination in wide crosses will facilitate the introgression of novel alleles into oilseed rape from B. rapa and B. oleracea (via resynthesized B. napus) and reduce linkage drag.