Mutations in the RAD50 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been shown to reduce double strand break repair, meiotic recombination, and radiation-inducible mitotic recombination. Several different point mutations (including ochre and amber alleles) have been previously examined for effects on spontaneous mitotic recombination and did not reduce the frequency of recombination. Instead, the rad50 mutations conferred a moderate hyper-rec phenotype. This paper examines a deletion/interruption allele of RAD50 that removes 998 of 1312 amino acids and adds 1.1 kb of foreign DNA. The results clearly indicate that spontaneous mitotic recombination can occur in the absence of RAD50; in fact, the frequency of recombination is elevated over the wild-type cell. One possible interpretation of these observations is that the initiating lesion in spontaneous recombination events in mitosis might not be a double strand break.