Karyotype analyses based on staining by acetocarmine followed by Giemsa N-banding of somatic metaphase chromosomes of Hordeum vulgare L. were carried out on 61 reciprocal translocations induced by X-irradiation. By means of computer-based karyotype analyses all of the 122 breakpoints could be localized to defined sites or segments distributed over the seven barley chromosomes. The pre-definition of translocations with respect to their rearranged chromosome arms from other studies rendered it possible to define the break positions even in translocations having exchanged segments equal in size and the breakpoints located distally to any Giemsa band or other cytological marker. The breakpoints were found to be non-randomly spaced along the chromosomes and their arms. All breaks but one occurred in interband regions of the chromosomes, and none of the breaks was located directly within a centromere. However, short and long chromosome arms recombined at random. An improved tester set of translocations depicting the known break positions of most distal location is presented.