Oryza nivara is the ancestral species of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa). It has been the source of novel alleles for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, as well as yield improvement, lost during the course of domestication. To determine the molecular changes that occurred during domestication, the O. sativa ssp. japonica variety, Nipponbare, from which a reference sequence (RefSeq) was developed, was crossed with the O. nivara accession (IRGC100897), from which BAC-end sequences (BES) were derived. The mapping population composed of 279 F2 progeny lines derived from this cross was phenotyped for 19 traits important to domestication and yield improvement, including basal sheath and culm color, culm angle, days to heading, plant height, seed shattering, flag leaf length and width, panicle type and length, awn length and color, pericarp color, and seed color, length, width, length to width ratio, volume and surface area. The population was genotyped using 95 SSR markers and 114 single nucleotide variation (SNV) markers, selected by comparing the Nipponbare RefSeq and O. nivara BES. At least one major QTL was identified for each trait evaluated, and for 28 of the 46 QTL, the trait increase was attributed to the allele contributed by the O. nivara parent. Candidate genes were identified in 37 of the QTL regions. This study validated SNV markers that can be used for mapping in populations with a wild species parent. In the future, SNVs could be used for marker-assisted selection to incorporate desirable, novel alleles for stress resistance and yield improvement, identified in rice wild species like O. nivara into elite, adapted O. sativa varieties.