The length polymorphism in the waxy gene, which encodes a granule-bound ADP-glucose-glucosyl transferase [granule-bound starch synthase I (GBSS I), E.C. 220.127.116.11] in barley ( Hordeum vulgare), was found. The 5' leader sequence of the waxy gene of barley germplasm from Japan and Korea was analyzed by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The waxy gene of these genetic stocks had three types of length polymorphisms, suggesting that there are insertion/deletion mutations at the 5' leader sequence of the waxy gene. DNA sequence analysis of the polymorphic PCR products showed that: (1) a 403-bp deletion mutation, which included a complete exon I, was found in the wax allele and a 193-bp insertion sequence was located in the intron I, and (2) the insertion sequence was also located in intron I of the Wax allele. The identity of the insertion sequence was completely conserved between the wax allele and the novel Wax allele. These finding s implying that the wax allele, which was found in indigenous waxy barley, originated in non-waxy barley with the novel Wax allele.