A molecular map of pepper (Capsicum sp.) totalling 720 cM has been constructed in an interspecific F2 cross with restriction fragment length polymorphisms and isozymes. Nineteen linkage groups were formed from 192 molecular markers. Twenty-six markers showed no linkage to any others. Twenty-eight markers showed significant deviation from expected Mendelian ratios and clustered in the genome. Two quantitative trait loci controlling the number of flowers per node were mapped to linkage group 10. The order of markers in at least 228 cM (31.7%) of the pepper genome is conserved with respect to the tomato genome, with a minimum of 15 chromosome breakage events postulated to have occurred since their divergence from a common ancestor. Comparisons of meiotic recombination in 14 conserved intervals indicates that tomato has a higher rate of recombination than does pepper in the crosses studied. Evidence suggests that centric fusions and resulting chromosome breakage events are mechanisms for genome evolution in the Solanaceae.