The majority of verified plant disease resistance genes isolated to date are of the NBS-LRR class, encoding proteins with a predicted nucleotide binding site (NBS) and a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) region. We took advantage of the sequence conservation in the NBS motif to clone, by PCR, gene fragments from barley representing putative disease resistance genes of this class. Over 30 different resistance gene analogs (RGAs) were isolated from the barley cultivar Regatta. These were grouped into 13 classes based on DNA sequence similarity. Actively transcribed genes were identified from all classes but one, and cDNA clones were isolated to derive the complete NBS-LRR protein sequences. Some of the NBS-LRR genes exhibited variation with respect to whether and where particular introns were spliced, as well as frequent premature polyadenylation. DNA sequences related to the majority of the barley RGAs were identified in the recently expanded public rice genomic sequence database, indicating that the rice sequence can be used to extract a large proportion of the RGAs from barley and other cereals. Using a combination of RFLP and PCR marker techniques, representatives of all barley RGA gene classes were mapped in the barley genome, to all chromosomes except 4H. A number of the RGA loci map in the vicinity of known disease resistance loci, and the association between RGA S-120 and the nematode resistance locus Ha2 on chromosome 2H was further tested by co-segregation analysis. Most of the RGA sequences reported here have not been described previously, and represent a useful resource as candidates or molecular markers for disease resistance genes in barley and other cereals.