Forty-one Spanish families with polycystic kidney disease 1 (PKD1) were studied for evidence of linkage disequilibrium between the disease locus and six closely linked markers. Four of these loci--three highly polymorphic microsatellites (SM6, CW3, and CW2) and an RFLP marker (BLu24)--are described for the first time in this report. Overall the results reveal many different haplotypes on the disease-carrying chromosome, suggesting a variety of independent PKD1 mutations. However, linkage disequilibrium was found between BLu24 and PKD1, and this was corroborated by haplotype analysis including the microsatellite polymorphisms. From this analysis a group of closely related haplotypes, consisting of four markers, was found on 40% of PKD1 chromosomes, although markers flanking this homogeneous region showed greater variability. This study has highlighted an interesting subpopulation of Spanish PKD1 chromosomes, many of which have a common origin, that may be useful for localizing the PKD1 locus more precisely.