Molecular markers were used to map and characterize quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for several characters of agronomic and biological importance in an interspecific backcross of tomato. The parents of the cross were an elite processing inbred Lycopersicon esculentum cv 'M82-1-7' and the closely related red-fruited wild species L. pimpinellifolium (LA1589). A total of 257 BC1 plants were grown under field conditions in Ithaca, New York and scored for 19 quantitative traits. A genetic linkage map was constructed for the same population using 115 RFLP, 3 RAPD and 2 morphological markers that spanned 1,279 cM of the tomato genome with an average interval length of 10.7 cM. A minimum of 54 putatively significant QTLs (P<0.001; LOD> 2.4) were detected for all characters with a range of 1-7 QTLs detected per character. Of the total 54 QTLs 11% had alleles with effects opposite to those predicted by the parental phenotypes. The percentage of phenotypic variation associated with single QTLs ranged from 4% to 47%. Multilocus analysis showed that the cumulative action of all QTLs detected for each trait accounted for 12-59% of the phenotypic variation. The difference in fruit weight was controlled largely by a single major QTL (fw2.2). Digenic epistasis was not evident. Several regions of the genome (including the region near sp on chromosome 6) showed effects on more than one trait. Implications for variety improvement and inferences about the domestication of the cultivated tomato are discussed.