This report describes the construction of integrated genetic maps in pearl millet involving certain purple phenotype and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. These maps provide a direct means of implementing DNA marker-assisted selection and of facilitating "map-based cloning" for engineering novel traits. The purple pigmentation of leaf sheath, midrib and leaf margin was inherited together 'en bloc' under the control of a single dominant locus (the 'midrib complex') and was inseparably associated with the locus governing the purple coloration of the internode. The purple panicle was caused by a single dominant locus. Each of the three characters (purple lamina, purple stigma and purple seed) was governed by two complementary loci. One of the two loci governing purple seed was associated with the SSR locus Xpsmp2090 in linkage group 1, with a linkage value of 22 cM, while the other locus was associated with the SSR locus Xpsmp2270 in linkage group 6, with a linkage value of 23 cM. The locus for purple pigmentation of the midrib complex was either responsible for pigmentation of the panicle in a pleiotropic manner or was linked to it very closely and associated with the SSR locus Xpsmp2086 in linkage group 4, with a suggestive linkage value of 21 cM. A dominant allele at this locus seems to be a prerequisite for the development of purple pigmentation in the lamina, stigma and seed. These findings suggest that the locus for pigmentation of the midrib complex might regulate the basic steps in anthocyanin pigment development by acting as a structural gene while other loci regulate the formation of color in specific plant parts.