Plant genes for pathogen resistance can be used to engineer disease resistant crops. Oligonucleotides were designed from sequence motifs conserved between resistance genes of tobacco and Arabidopsis thaliana and used as PCR primers in potato DNA. Amplification products were obtained that were homologous to known resistance genes and linked without recombination with the nematode resistance locus Gro1 and the Phytophthora infestans resistance locus R7 of potato. Map positions of PCR-derived potato gene fragments were also correlated with resistance loci of the related tomato and tobacco genomes. Our results indicate that plant resistance genes that are effective against nematodes, fungi, viruses and bacteria may be isolated based on common sequence motifs and PCR methodology.