Sequencing of a contiguous 215-kb interval of Triticum monococcum showed the presence of five genes in the same order as in previously sequenced colinear barley and rice BACs. Gene 2 was in the same orientation in wheat and rice but inverted in barley. Gene density in this region was 1 gene per 43 kb and the ratio of physical to genetic distance was estimated to be 2,700 kb cM(-1). Twenty more-or-less intact retrotransposons were found in the intergenic regions, covering at least 70% of the sequenced region. The insertion times of 11 retrotransposons were less than 5 million years ago and were consistent with their nested structure. Five new families of retro-elements and the first full-length elements for two additional retrotransposon families were discovered in this region. Significantly higher values of GC content were observed for Triticeae BACs compared with rice BACs. Relative enrichment or depletion of certain dinucleotides was observed in the comparison of introns, exons and retrotransposons. A higher proportion of transitions in CG and CNG sites that are targets for cytosine methylation was observed in retrotransposons (76%) than in introns (37%). These results showed that the wheat genome is a complex mixture of different sequence elements, but with general patterns of content and interspersion that are similar to those seen in maize and barley.