A region of substantial genetic homology exists between human chromosome 21 (HSA21) and mouse chromosome 16 (MMU16). Analysis of 520 backcross animals has been used to establish gene order in the homologous segment. D21S16h and Mx are shown to represent the known proximal and distal limits of homology between the chromosomes, while Gap43, whose human homolog is on HSA3, is the next proximal marker on MMU16 that has been mapped in the human genome. Recombination frequencies (RFs) in four intervals defined by five loci in the HSA21-homologous region of MMU16 were analyzed in up to 895 progeny of eight different backcrosses. Two of the eight crosses were made with F1 males and six with F1 females. The average RF of 0.249 in 265 backcross progeny of F1 males was significantly higher than the 0.106 average recombination in 320 progeny of F1 females in the interval from D21S16h to Ets-2. This is in contrast to HSA21, which shows higher RFs in female meiosis in the corresponding region. Considerable variation in RF was observed between crosses involving different strains, both in absolute and in relative sizes of the intervals measured. The highest RFs occurred in a cross between the laboratory strain C57BL/6 and MOLD/Rk, an inbred strain derived from Mus musculus molossinus. RFs on this cross were nearly fivefold higher than those reported previously for an interspecific cross between C57BL/6 and Mus spretus.