Advanced backcross QTL analysis is proposed as a method of combining QTL analysis with variety development. It is tailored for the discovery and transfer of valuable QTL alleles from unadapted donor lines (e.g., land races, wild species) into established elite inbred lines. Following this strategy, QTL analysis is delayed until the BC2 or BC3 generation and, during the development of these populations, negative selection is exercised to reduce the frequency of deleterious donor alleles. Simulations suggest that advanced backcross QTL analysis will be effective in detecting additive, dominant, partially dominant, or overdominant QTLs. Epistatic QTLs or QTLs with gene actions ranging from recessive to additive will be detected with less power than in selfing generations. QTL-NILs can be derived from advanced backcross populations in one or two additional generations and utilized to verify QTL activity. These same QTL-NILs also represent commercial inbreds improved (over the original recurrent inbred line) for one or more quantitative traits. The time lapse from QTL discovery to construction and testing of improved QTL-NILs is minimal (1-2 years). If successfully employed, advanced backcross QTL analysis can open the door to exploiting unadapted and exotic germplasm for the quantitative trait improvement of a number of crop plants.