We describe the construction of a specific yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) library from barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) using the vector pYAC-RC. The library was generated by total digestion of high molecular weight DNA with the infrequently cutting restriction enzyme MluI. Only 10-30% of the colonies were recombinant, as visualized by red-white selection and subsequent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis. About 17 000 individual recombinant YAC clones with insert sizes ranging from 50 to 700 kb, with a mean of 170 kb, were selected. No chloroplast sequences were detected and the proportion of YAC clones containing BARE-1 copia-like retroelements is about 5%. Screening of the library with a single-copy RFLP marker closely linked to the Mla locus yielded three identical clones of the same size. Insert termini of randomly chosen YAC clones were investigated with respect to their redundancy in the barley genome and compared with termini of YAC clones from an EcoRI-based YAC library, resulting in a fourfold enrichment of single-copy sequences at the MluI vector-insert junctions.