Linkage disequilibrium between molecular polymorphisms in a 10 kb region in the white locus of Drosophila melanogaster, revealed with a battery of four-cutter restriction enzymes, was investigated in 266 lines sampled from seven natural populations around the world. A total of 73 (35 restriction site, 37 insertion/deletion and 1 inversion) polymorphisms were detected, of which 55 non-unique polymorphisms were analysed for linkage disequilibrium. Clustering of significant linkage disequilibrium was observed in the transcriptional unit of the white locus as in Miyashita & Langley (1988). It was shown that about two thirds of the 2-locus combinations showing significant linkage disequilibrium have similar degree and direction of association over different populations. Despite lower divergence in allelic frequencies of molecular polymorphisms among populations, an increase in the proportion of 2-locus pairs showing significant linkage disequilibrium is observed in the transcriptional unit. Large values of Ohta's D measure ratio (1982a, b) cluster in the transcriptional unit, and correspond to significant linkage disequilibria. Although the exact molecular mechanism is not clear, these results suggest that epistatic selection is responsible for significant linkage disequilibrium in the transcriptional unit of this locus.