Crown rust resistance is an important selection criterion in ryegrass breeding. The disease, caused by the biotrophic fungus Puccinia coronata, causes yield losses and reduced quality. In this study, we used linkage mapping and QTL analysis to unravel the genomic organization of crown rust resistance in a Lolium perenne population. The progeny of a pair cross between a susceptible and a resistant plant were analysed for crown rust resistance. A linkage map, consisting of 227 loci ( AFLP, SSR, RFLP and STS) and spanning 744 cM, was generated using the two-way pseudo-testcross approach from 252 individuals. QTL analysis revealed four genomic regions involved in crown rust resistance. Two QTLs were located on LG1 (LpPc4 and LpPc2) and two on LG2 (LpPc3 and LpPc1). They explain 12.5, 24.9, 5.5 and 2.6% of phenotypic variance, respectively. An STS marker, showing homology to R genes, maps in the proximity of LpPc2. Further research is, however, necessary to check the presence of functional R genes in this region. Synteny at the QTL level between homologous groups of chromosomes within the Gramineae was observed. LG1 and LG2 show homology with group A and B chromosomes of oat on which crown rust-resistance genes have been identified, and with the group 1 chromosomes of the Triticeae, on which leaf rust-resistance genes have been mapped. These results are of major importance for understanding the molecular background of crown rust resistance in ryegrasses. The identified markers linked to crown rust resistance have the potential for use in marker-assisted breeding.