De novo shoot organogenesis (i.e., the regeneration of shoots on nonmeristematic tissue) is widely applied in plant biotechnology. However, the capacity to regenerate shoots varies highly among plant species and cultivars, and the factors underlying it are still poorly understood. Here, we evaluated the shoot regeneration capacity of 88 Arabidopsis thaliana accessions and found that the process is blocked at different stages in different accessions. We show that the variation in regeneration capacity between the Arabidopsis accessions Nok-3 and Ga-0 is determined by five quantitative trait loci (QTL): REG-1 to REG-5. Fine mapping by local association analysis identified RECEPTOR-LIKE PROTEIN KINASE1 (RPK1), an abscisic acid-related receptor, as the most likely gene underlying REG-1, which was confirmed by quantitative failure of an RPK1 mutation to complement the high and low REG-1 QTL alleles. The importance of RPK1 in regeneration was further corroborated by mutant and expression analysis. Altogether, our results show that association mapping combined with linkage mapping is a powerful method to discover important genes implicated in a biological process as complex as shoot regeneration.