The barley stem rust resistance genes Rpg1 and rpg4 were mapped in barley on chromosomes 1P and 7M, respectively and the syntenous rice chromosomes identified as 6P and 3P by mapping common probes in barley and rice. Rice yeast artificial chromosome (YAC), bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) and cosmid clones were used to isolate probes mapping to the barley Rpg1 region. The rice BAC isolated with the pM13 probe was a particularly excellent source of probes. A high-resolution map of the Rpg1 region was established with 1400 gametes yielding a map density of 3.6 markers per 0.1 cM. A detailed physical map was established for the rice BAC fragment containing the Rpg1-flanking markers pM13 and B24. This fragment covers a barley genetic distance of 0.6 cM and a rice DNA physical distance of ca. 70 kb. The distribution of barley cross-overs in relation to the rice DNA physical distances was extremely uneven. The barley genetic distance between the pM13 marker and Rpg1 was 0.1 cM per ca. 55 kb, while on the proximal side it was 0.5 cm per ca. 15 kb. Three probes from the distal end of the pM13 BAC mapped 3.0 cm proximal of Rpg1 and out of synteny with rice. These experiments confirm the validity of using large insert rice clones as probe sources to saturate small barley (and other large genome cereals) genome regions with markers. They also establish a note of caution that even in regions of high microsynteny, there may be small DNA fragments that have transposed and are no longer in syntenous positions.