A human DNA repair gene, ERCC2 (Excision Repair Cross Complementing 2), was assigned to human chromosome 19 using hybrid clone panels in two different procedures. One set of cell hybrids was constructed by selecting for functional complementation of the DNA repair defect in mutant CHO UV5 after fusion with human lymphocytes. In the second analysis, DNAs from an independent hybrid panel were digested with restriction enzymes and analyzed by Southern blot hybridization using DNA probes for the three DNA repair genes that are located on human chromosome 19: ERCC1, ERCC2, and X-Ray Repair Cross Complementing 1 (XRCC1). The results from hybrids retaining different portions of this chromosome showed that ERCC2 is distal to XRCC1 and in the same region of the chromosome 19 long arm (q13.2-q13.3) as ERCC1, but on different MluI macrorestriction fragments. Similar experiments using a hybrid clone panel containing segregating Chinese hamster chromosomes revealed the hamster homologs of the three repair genes to be part of a highly conserved linkage group on Chinese hamster chromosome number 9. The known hemizygosity of hamster chromosome 9 in CHO cells can account for the high frequency at which genetically recessive mutations are recovered in these three genes in CHO cells. Thus, the conservation of linkage of the repair genes explains the seemingly disproportionate number of repair genes identified on human chromosome 19.