The decrease of meiotic exchanges (crossing over and conversion) in two mutants of Sordaria macrospora correlated strongly with a reduction of chiasmata and of both types of "recombination nodules." Serial section reconstruction electron microscopy was used to compare the synapsis pattern of meiotic prophase I in wild type and mutants. First, synapsis occurred but the number of synaptonemal complex initiation sites was reduced in both mutants. Second, this reduction was accompanied by, or resulted in, modifications of the pattern of synapsis. Genetic and synaptonemal complex maps were compared in three regions along one chromosome arm divided into well marked intervals. Reciprocal exchange frequencies and number of recombination nodules correlated in wild type in the three analyzed intervals, but disparity was found between the location of recombination nodules and exchanges in the mutants. Despite the twofold exchange decrease, sections of the genome such as the short arm of chromosome 2 and telomere regions were sheltered from nodule decrease and from pairing modifications. This indicated a certain amount of diversity in the control of these features and suggested that exchange frequency was dependent not only on the amount of effective pairing but also on the localization of the pairing sites, as revealed by the synaptonemal complex progression in the mutants.