Nearly isogenic lines (NILs) of rice (Oryza sativa) differing at a locus conferring resistance to the pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae were surveyed with 123 DNA markers and 985 random primers using restriction fragment length plymorphism (RFLP) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis. One chromosome 11 marker (RG103) detected polymorphism between the NILs that cosegregated with Xa21. All other chromosome 11 DNA markers tested were monomorphic between the NILs, localizing the Xa21 introgressed region to an 8.3 cM interval on chromosome 11. Furthermore, we identified two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products (RAPD2148 and RAPD818) that detected polymorphisms between the NILs. Genomic sequences hybridizing with RAPD818, RAPD248 and RG103 were duplicated specifically in the Xa21 NIL. All three markers cosegregated with the resistance locus, Xa21, in a F2 population of 386 progeny. Based on the frequency with which we recovered polymorphic Xa21-linked markers, we estimated the physical size of the introgressed region to be approximately 800 kb. This estimation was supported by physical mapping (using pulsed field gel electrophoresis) of the sequences hybridizing with the three Xa21-linked DNA markers. The results showed that the three Xa21-linked markers are physically close to each other, with one copy of the RAPD818 sequences located within 60 kb of RAPD248 and the other copy within 270 kb of RG103. None of the enzymes tested generated a DNA fragment that hybridized with all three of the markers indicating that the introgressed region containing the resistance locus Xa21 is probably larger than 270 kb.