A collection of 569 Spanish barley accessions was screened for resistance to leaf rust (Puccinia hordei Otth) in the field at Cordoba during the 2000-2001 season. The level of resistance ranged from very low to very high. In 14% of the accessions the relative AUDPC (L94 = 100%) was lower than 10%. Selected accessions that were most resistant in the field, were tested in the seedling stage under controlled conditions. Macroscopic components of resistance indicated that six lines had a high level of partial resistance close to check cv. Vada and one line a similar level of partial resistance. Histological studies indicated that the resistance was based on a high percentage of early aborted colonies and reduction in colony size without plant cell necrosis. Three of the selected lines showed high percentage of plant cell necrosis associated with established colonies, which indicates a combination of prehaustorial resistance with late acting incomplete posthaustorial resistance. Although the new barley varieties already incorporate some partial resistance, new sources of partial resistance like these are needed to improve durability of the resistance.