Meiotic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are associated with recombination hot spots in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and are believed to initiate the process of recombination. Until now, meiosis-induced breaks have not been shown to occur regularly in other organisms. Here we show, by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of DNA, that meiotic DSBs occur transiently in all three chromosomes of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. In a repair defective mutant, carrying a mutation in the RecA homolog gene rhp51, meiotic DSBs accumulate. In contrast to expectation from the genetic map of S. pombe, however, many chromosomal DNA molecules remain unbroken during meiosis.