A map-based cloning scheme is being used to isolate the jointless (j) gene of tomato. The jointless locus is defined by a single recessive mutation that completely suppresses the formation of the fruit and flower pedicel and peduncle abscission zone. jointless was mapped in an F2 population of an interspecific cross between Lycopersicon esculentum and Lycopersicon pennellii to a 7.1 cM interval between two restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers TG523 and TG194. Isogenic DNA pools were then constructed from a subset of the mapping population and screened with 800 random decamers for random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) polymorphisms. Five new RAPD markers were isolated and mapped to chromosome 11, two of which were mapped within the targeted interval. One marker, RPD158, was mapped 1.5 cM to the opposite side of jointless relative to TG523 and thus narrowed the interval between the closest flanking markers to 3.0 cM. Physical mapping by pulse-field gel electrophoresis using TG523 and RPD158 as probes demonstrated that both markers hybridize to a common 600 kb SmaI restriction fragment. This provided an estimate of 200 kb/cM for the relationship between physical and genetic distances in the region of chromosome 11 containing the j locus. The combined results provide evidence for the feasibility of the next step toward isolation of the jointless gene by map-based cloning - a chromosome walk or jump to jointless. © 1994 Springer-Verlag.