• Zinc (Zn) hyperaccumulation seems to be a constitutive species-level trait in Thlaspi caerulescens. When compared under conditions of equal Zn availability, considerable variation in the degree of hyperaccumulation is observed among accessions originating from different soil types. This variation offers an excellent opportunity for further dissection of the genetics of this trait. • A T. caerulescens intraspecific cross was made between a plant from a nonmetallicolous accession [Lellingen (LE)], characterized by relatively high Zn accumulation, and a plant from a calamine accession [La Calamine (LC)], characterized by relatively low Zn accumulation. • Zinc accumulation in roots and shoots segregated in the F3 population. This population was used to construct an LE/LC amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)-based genetic linkage map and to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for Zn accumulation. Two QTL were identified for root Zn accumulation, with the trait-enhancing alleles being derived from each of the parents, and explaining 21.7 and 16.6% of the phenotypic variation observed in the mapping population. • Future development of more markers, based on Arabidopsis orthologous genes localized in the QTL regions, will allow fine-mapping and map-based cloning of the genes underlying the QTL. © The Authors (2005).