Resistance of barley (Hordeum vulgare) to the powdery mildew fungus Erysiphe graminis f.sp. hordei is conferred by several dominant genes, but also by recessive alleles of the Mlo locus mapping on the long arm of chromosome 4. In addition, this single-factor-mediated resistance is active against all known physiological races of the parasite. Thus the mechanism underlying mlo-mediated resistance should differ substantially from that mediated by the dominant genes. A positional cloning strategy to isolate the Mlo gene from the barley genome, the size of which is almost double the size of the human genome, has been designed. The AFLP technique was employed to identify markers tightly linked to the Mlo locus and to produce a local high-resolution genetic map. The use of this high-volume marker technology allowed the rapid screening of approximately 250,000 loci for linkage to Mlo. A large number of Mlo-linked AFLP markers were identified, one of which cosegregated with Mlo on the basis of more than 4000 meiotic events. A four-genome-equivalent barley YAC library (average insert size 480 kb) was constructed and screened with this cosegregating marker. Four YACs containing this marker were isolated and subsequent characterization by AFLP-based physical mapping allowed the physical delimitation of the Mlo locus to a DNA segment of 30 kb.