The genetic differences for seed germination between two commonly used Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes Ler and Col, both showing a low level of seed dormancy, were investigated. The analysis was performed with 98 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from the cross between the two ecotypes, and these lines had previously been analysed for molecular marker composition by Lister and Dean (Norwich, UK). The analysis of germination was performed on seeds grown in three different maternal environments and each seed batch was tested in three different germination environments: in light, in darkness and in the presence of the gibberellin inhibitor paclobutrazol. Fourteen loci were identified using the multiple-QTL-model (MQM) procedure for mapping quantitative trait loci. At nine loci no significant interaction between the detection of the locus and environmental factors could be detected. However, three other distinct loci controlling the germination behaviour in the presence of the gibberellin inhibitor paclobutrazol had a much lower or no effect when germination was tested in water either in light or darkness. Two other loci affecting germination in darkness and/or light had practically no effect on germination in the presence of paclobutrazol.