In order to generate a physical map of Arabidopsis thaliana chromosome 5, 142 molecular markers mapping chromosome 5 have been used in colony hybridization experiments with four Arabidopsis, ecotype Columbia, yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) libraries. This resulted in 634 YAC clones being anchored on chromosome 5. Southern blot analysis confirmed their positioning and provided data, which along with knowledge of the sizes of all the YAC clones, enabled the clones to be arranged into 31 contigs. Genetic mapping of markers located within 29 of these contigs on the Landsberg erecta/Columbia recombinant inbred lines allowed positioning of the contigs along the chromosome. A high proportion of the YAC clones were found to contain chimaeric inserts. The availability of this YAC contig map will accelerate chromosome-walking experiments, provide substrates for large-scale genomic sequencing projects and facilitate the mapping of new probes to this chromosome.