Studies on inheritance of fertility are of great importance in wheat breeding. Although substantial progress has been achieved in molecular characterization of male sterility and fertility restoration recently, little effort has been devoted to female sterility. To identify the gene(s) controlling female sterility in wheat efficiently, an investigation was conducted for the seed setting ratio using a set of F2 populations derived from the cross between a female sterile line XND126 and an elite cultivar Gaocheng 8901. Bulked segregation analysis (BSA) method and recessive class approach were adopted to screen for SSR markers potentially linked to female fertility gene loci in 2005. Out of 1080 SSRs in wheat genome, eight markers on chromosome 2D showed a clear difference between two disparate bulks and small recombination frequency values, suggesting a strong linkage signal to the sterility gene. Based on the candidate linked markers, partial linkage maps were constructed with Mapmaker 3.0 (EXP) instead of whole genome maps, and quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping was implemented with software QTLNetwork 2.0. A major gene locus designated as taf1, was located on chromosome 2DS. The above result was confirmed by the analysis for 2007 data, and taf1 was identified on the same chromosome 2DS with a confidence interval of 2·4 cM, which could explain 44·99% of phenotypic variation. These results provided fundamental information for fine mapping studies and laid the groundwork for wheat fertility genetic studies.