Late blight caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans is the most destructive disease in potato cultivation worldwide. New, more virulent P. infestans strains have evolved which overcome the genetic resistance that has been introgressed by conventional breeding from wild potato species into commercial varieties. R genes (for single-gene resistance) and genes for quantitative resistance to late blight are present in the germplasm of wild and cultivated potato. The molecular basis of single-gene and quantitative resistance to late blight is unknown. We have cloned R1, the first gene for resistance to late blight, by combining positional cloning with a candidate gene approach. The R1 gene is member of a gene family. It encodes a protein of 1293 amino acids with a molecular mass of 149.4 kDa. The R1 gene belongs to the class of plant genes for pathogen resistance that have a leucine zipper motif, a putative nucleotide binding domain and a leucine-rich repeat domain. The most closely related plant resistance gene (36% identity) is the Prf gene for resistance to Pseudomonas syringae of tomato. R1 is located within a hot spot for pathogen resistance on potato chromosome V. In comparison to the susceptibility allele, the resistance allele at the R1 locus represents a large insertion of a functional R gene.