Germinal and somatic excision products of Mu1 from the insertion allele bz::mu1 were selectively amplified from maize cob tissue. The sequence of these "footprints" often included deletions at the target site, suggesting that substantial exonucleolytic degradation occurs upon excision of the element. In addition to deletions of target site sequences, single base insertions were also found. The isolation of an excision product including a 4 bp inverted duplication of the target site provides evidence that the double-stranded chromosomal break generated by Mu excision may be terminated by a covalently closed hairpin structure. The majority of excision products, however, do not include inverted duplications of target site sequences, suggesting that such structures are the result of occasional repair activities, rather than an essential step in the mechanism of Mu excision. The sequence of the Mu insertion sites of the bz::mu1 and bz::mu2 alleles is also presented.