Progressive X-linked cone-rod dystrophy (COD1) is a retinal disease affecting primarily the cone photoreceptors. The COD1 locus originally was localized, by the study of three independent families, to a region between Xp11.3 and Xp21.1, encompassing the retinitis pigmentosa (RP) 3 locus. We have refined the COD1 locus to a limited region of Xp11.4, using two families reported elsewhere and a new extended family. Genotype analysis was performed by use of eight microsatellite markers (tel-M6CA, DXS1068, DXS1058, DXS993, DXS228, DXS1201, DXS1003, and DXS1055-cent), spanning a distance of 20 cM. Nine-point linkage analysis, by use of the VITESSE program for X-linked disorders, established a maximum LOD score (17.5) between markers DXS1058 and DXS993, spanning 4.0 cM. Two additional markers, DXS977 and DXS556, which map between DXS1058 and DXS993, were used to further narrow the critical region. The RP3 gene, RPGR, was excluded on the basis of two obligate recombinants, observed in two independent families. In a third family, linkage analysis did not exclude the RPGR locus. The entire coding region of the RPGR gene from two affected males from family 2 was sequenced and was found to be normal. Haplotype analysis of two family branches, containing three obligate recombinants, two affected and one unaffected, defined the COD1 locus as distal to DXS993 and proximal to DXS556, a distance of approximately 1.0 Mb. This study excludes COD1 as an allelic variant of RP3 and establishes a novel locus that is sufficiently defined for positional cloning.