We describe the construction of a yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) library from the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. Randomly sheared high molecular weight source DNA was extracted from frozen, ground leaf tissue and blunt-end-ligated to the vector pYAC3. By size-fractionating the ligation products, we achieved an average clone size of 150 kb. Approximately 6% of the YACs contained inserts from the chloroplast genome. We screened clones equivalent to greater than four A. thaliana haploid nuclear genomes and isolated YACs homologous to five single-copy-sequence probes. The library should be useful for chromosome walking and genome mapping experiments. In addition, the approach used for its construction should be applicable to other higher plant species.