The segregation products of the mouse Rb-(6.16)24 Lub male translocation carrier were analyzed at first cleavage metaphase to determine whether the proportion of normal, balanced, and unbalanced sperm segregants differ in fertilizations occurring in vivo and in vitro. From 34 males, the sperm genomes in 268 first-cleavage mouse embryos were analyzed cytogenetically: 137 and 131 following in vivo and in vitro fertilization, respectively. Both systems demonstrated a preponderance of alternate (67.2% and 54.2%) as compared to adjacent segregation (10.2% and 13.7% as estimated). A contingency table showed that the distribution of reciprocal alternate segregants differed significantly between the two fertilization environments (chi 2 = 20.64, P < 0.0005). Whereas chromosomally normal sperm were 3.6 times more likely than the balanced reciprocals to fertilize in vivo (78.3% normal: 21.7% balanced), 1:1 ratios were recovered following in vitro fertilization (43.7% normal: 56.3% balanced). The data also showed an excess of Y-bearing sperm with the translocation in both in vivo and in vitro fertilization groups. In the latter these segregants were 3 times more likely than X-bearing ones to effect fertilization. These data suggest a phenotypic disadvantage of translocation-X-bearing sperm, possibly mediated through altered haploid gene expression on chromosome 6 and gene expression on the Y. The results show clear evidence for prezygotic selection in vivo and indicate that the environment in which fertilization occurs significantly affects the transmission frequency of this specific translocation.