Two overlapping bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones from the B genome of the tetraploid wheat Triticum turgidum were identified, each of which contains one of the two high-molecular-weight (HMW) glutenin genes, comprising the complex Glu-B1 locus. The complete sequence (285 506 bp of DNA) of this chromosomal region was determined. The two paralogous x-type ( Glu-1-1 ) and y-type ( Glu-1-2 ) HMW-glutenin genes of the complex Glu-B1 locus were found to be separated by ca. 168 000 bp instead of the 51 000 bp separation previously reported for the orthologous Glu-D1 locus of Aegilops tauschii, the D-genome donor of hexaploid wheat. This difference in intergene spacing is due almost entirely to be the insertion of clusters of nested retrotransposons. Otherwise, the orientation and order of the HMW glutenins and adjacent genes were identical in the two genomes. A comparison of these orthologous regions indicates modes and patterns of sequence divergence, with implications for the overall Triticeae genome structure and evolution. A duplicate globulin gene, found 5' of each HMW-glutenin gene, assists to tentatively define the original duplication event leading to the paralogous x- and y-type HMW-glutenin genes. The intergenic regions of the two loci are composed of different patterns and classes of retrotransposons, indicating that insertion times of these retroelements were after the divergence of the two wheat genomes. In addition, a putative receptor kinase gene near the y-type HMW-glutenin gene at the Glu-B1 locus is likely active as it matches recently reported ESTs from germinating barley endosperm. The presence of four genes represented only in the Triticeae endosperm ESTs suggests an endosperm-specific chromosome domain.