A new recombination gene called recR has been identified and located near dnaZ at minute 11 on the current linkage map of Escherichia coli. The gene was detected after transposon mutagenesis of a recB sbcB strain and screening for insertion mutants that had a reduced efficiency of recombination in Hfr crosses. The recR insertions obtained conferred a recombination deficient and extremely UV sensitive phenotype in both recB recC sbcA and recB recC sbcB sbcC genetic backgrounds. recR derivatives of recBC+ sbc+ strains were proficient in conjugational and transductional recombination but deficient in plasmid recombination and sensitive to UV light. Strains carrying recR insertions combined with mutations in uvrA and other rec genes revealed that the gene is involved in a recombinational process of DNA repair that relies also on recF and recO, and possibly recJ, but which is independent of recB, recC and recD. The properties of two other insertions, one located near pyrE and the other near guaA, are discussed in relation to their proximity to recG and xse (the gene for exonuclease VII), respectively.