Rice is a leading grain crop and the staple food for over half of the "world" population. Rice is also an ideal species for genetic and biological studies of cereal crops and other monocotyledonous plants because of its small genome and well developed genetic system. To facilitate rice genome analysis leading to physical mapping, the identification of molecular markers closely linked to economic traits, and map-based cloning, we have constructed two rice bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries from the parents of a permanent mapping population (Lemont and Teqing) consisting of 400 F9 recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Lemont (japonica) and Teqing (indica) represent the two major genomes of cultivated rice, both are leading commercial varieties and widely used germplasm in rice breeding programs. The Lemont library contains 7296 clones with an average insert size of 150 kb, which represents 2.6 rice haploid genome equivalents. The Teqing library contains 14 208 clones with an average insert size of 130 kb, which represents 4.4 rice haploid genome equivalents. Three single-copy DNA probes were used to screen the libraries and at least two overlapping BAC clones were isolated with each probe from each library, ranging from 45 to 260 kb in insert size. Hybridization of BAC clones with chloroplast DNA probes and fluorescent in situ hybridization using BAC DNA as probes demonstrated that both libraries contain very few clones of chloroplast DNA origin and are likely free of chimeric clones. These data indicate that both BAC libraries should be suitable for map-based cloning of rice genes and physical mapping of the rice genome. © 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers.