An amplified fragment polymorphism (AFLP) based linkage map has been generated for a new Landsberg erecta/ Cape Verde Islands (Ler/Cvi) recombinant inbred line (RIL) population. A total of 321 molecular PCR based markers and the erecta mutation were mapped. AFLP markers were also analysed in the Landsberg erecta/Columbia (Ler/Col) RIL population (Lister and Dean, 1993) and 395 AFLP markers have been integrated into the previous Arabidopsis molecular map of 122 RFLPs, CAPSs and SSLPs. This enabled the evaluation of the efficiency and robustness of AFLP technology for linkage analyses in Arabidopsis. AFLP markers were found throughout the linkage map. The two RIL maps could be integrated through 49 common markers which all mapped at similar positions. Comparison of both maps led to the conclusion that segregating bands from a common parent can be compared between different populations, and that AFLP bands of similar molecular size, amplified with the same primer combination in two different ecotypes, are likely to correspond to the same locus. AFLPs were found clustering around the centromeric regions, and the authors have established the map position of the centromere of chromosome 3 by a quantitative analysis of AFLP bands using trisomic plants. AFLP markers were also used to estimate the polymorphism rate among the three ecotypes. The larger polymorphism rate found between Ler and Cvi compared to Ler and Col will mean that the new RIL population will provide a useful material to map DNA polymorphisms and quantitative trait loci.