A strong mutator effect has been observed in Escherichia coli K-12 strains mutated in the bglY gene (27 min). The frequency of point mutations is not modified in bglY mutant strains. In contrast, a strong increase in spontaneous generation of large deletions has been observed in these strains, both for chromosomal markers (10-fold increase of galETK-chlA deletions and 100-fold increase of ptsI-cysK deletions) and for plasmid DNA (100-fold increase of large deletions in the region located upstream of the chloramphenicol-resistance gene in plasmid pGR71). bglY mutations are recessive and can be complemented by a DNA fragment of 900 base pairs assumed to contain the entire bglY wild-type gene. This mutator effect is recA-independent.