Arabidopsis thaliana is a small flowering plant that serves as the major model system in plant molecular genetics. The efforts of many scientists have produced genetic maps that provide extensive coverage of the genome (http://genome-www. stanford.edu/Arabidopsis/maps.html). Recently, detailed YAC, BAC, P1 and cosmid-based physical maps (that is, representations of genomic regions as sets of overlapping clones of corresponding libraries) have been established that extend over wide genomic areas ranging from several hundreds of kilobases to entire chromosomes. These maps provide an entry to gain deeper insight into the A. thaliana genome structure. A. thaliana has been chosen as the subject of the first large-scale project intended to determine the full genome sequence of a plant. This sequencing project, together with the increasing interest in map-based gene cloning, has highlighted the requirement for a complete and accurate physical map of this plant species. To supply the scientific community with a high-quality resource, we present here a complete physical map of A. thaliana using essentially the IGF BAC library. The map consists of 27 contigs that cover the entire genome, except for the presumptive centromeric regions, nucleolar organization regions (NOR) and telomeric areas. This is the first reported map of a complex organism based entirely on BAC clones and it represents the most homogeneous and complete physical map established to date for any plant genome. Furthermore, the analysis performed here serves as a model for an efficient physical mapping procedure using BAC clones that can be applied to other complex genomes.