We have transferred the site-specific recombination system of the yeast 2 micron plasmid, the FLP recombinase and its recombination targets (FRTs), into the genome of Drosophila. Flies were transformed with an FLP gene under the control of hsp70 regulatory sequences and with a white gene flanked by FRTs. The heat-induced recombinase catalyzes recombination between FRTs, causing loss of white (seen somatically as white patches in the eye) and, less frequently, gain of white (seen as dark-red patches). Loss and gain frequencies vary with the severity of the heat shock, and patterns of mosaicism vary with the developmental stage at which the heat shock is applied. The recombinase is also active in the germline, producing white-eyed and dark-red-eyed progeny.