Genetic characterization of anthracnose resistance in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) caused by Colletotrichum coccodes (Wallr.) Hughes was accomplished using populations developed from crosses between the anthracnose susceptible cultivar US28 and three resistant breeding lines (115-4, 625-3, and 88B147) that varied in their degree of anthracnose resistance and relative stage of adaptation for commercial use. These lines were of common parental lineage with resistance derived from the small-fruited L. esculentum USDA PI 272636. Anthracnose lesion diameters and fruit weight were measured in puncture inoculated fruit of parental, F1, F2, and backcross generations within each cross. Correlation coefficients between fruit size and lesion diameter were low and generally nonsignificant. Estimates of broad and narrow sense heritabilities for resistance were moderate and declined as relative anthracnose susceptibility of the resistant parent increased coincident with increasing horticultural adaptation. A simple additive dominance model, m[d][h], was adequate to explain the genetic variance for anthracnose resistance in all crosses. Genetic variance for anthracnose resistance was primarily additive. The minimum number of effective factors or loci conditioning anthracnose resistance declined during attempts to transfer high levels of resistance from PI 272636 into adapted breeding lines.