Key message: The candidate gene for the barleyUn8true loose smut resistance gene encodes a deduced protein containing two tandem protein kinase domains. Abstract: In North America, durable resistance against all known isolates of barley true loose smut, caused by the basidiomycete pathogen Ustilago nuda (Jens.) Rostr. (U. nuda), is under the control of the Un8 resistance gene. Previous genetic studies mapped Un8 to the long arm of chromosome 5 (1HL). Here, a population of 4625 lines segregating for Un8 was used to delimit the Un8 gene to a 0.108 cM interval on chromosome arm 1HL, and assign it to fingerprinted contig 546 of the barley physical map. The minimal tilling path was identified for the Un8 locus using two flanking markers and consisted of two overlapping bacterial artificial chromosomes. One gene located close to a marker co-segregating with Un8 showed high sequence identity to a disease resistance gene containing two kinase domains. Sequence of the candidate gene from the parents of the segregating population, and in an additional 19 barley lines representing a broader spectrum of diversity, showed there was no intron in alleles present in either resistant or susceptible lines, and fifteen amino acid variations unique to the deduced protein sequence in resistant lines differentiated it from the deduced protein sequences in susceptible lines. Some of these variations were present within putative functional domains which may cause a loss of function in the deduced protein sequences within susceptible lines.