Recombinational repair of replication forks can occur either to a crossover (XO) or noncrossover (non-XO) depending on Holliday junction resolution. Once the fork is repaired by recombination, PriA is important for restarting these forks in Escherichia coli. PriA mutants are Rec(-) and UV sensitive and have poor viability and 10-fold elevated basal levels of SOS expression. PriA sulB mutant cells and their nucleoids were studied by differential interference contrast and fluorescence microscopy of 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole-stained log phase cells. Two populations of cells were seen. Eighty four percent appeared like wild type, and 16% of the cells were filamented and had poorly partitioned chromosomes (Par(-)). To probe potential mechanisms leading to the two populations of cells, mutations were added to the priA sulB mutant. Mutating sulA or introducing lexA3 decreased, but did not eliminate filamentation or defects in partitioning. Mutating either recA or recB virtually eliminated the Par(-) phenotype. Filamentation in the recB mutant decreased to 3%, but increased to 28% in the recA mutant. The ability to resolve and/or branch migrate Holliday junctions also appeared crucial in the priA mutant because removing either recG or ruvC was lethal. Lastly, it was tested whether the ability to resolve chromosome dimers caused by XOs was important in a priA mutant by mutating dif and the C-terminal portion of ftsK. Mutation of dif showed no change in phenotype whereas ftsK1cat was lethal with priA2kan. A model is proposed where the PriA-independent pathway of replication restart functions at forks that have been repaired to non-XOs.