We have characterized two types of recombination events between linear plasmids and yeast chromosomal telomere-adjacent sequences (Y' elements). In one type of event, a linear plasmid restriction-cut within a Y' element regains the missing Y' DNA, and may also acquire additional Y' elements. This process is similar to the healing of broken chromosomes by recombination. In a second type of event, terminally added C1-3A sequences on the linear plasmid interact with C1-3A sequences located just internal to the chromosomal Y' elements, resulting in the addition of one to four Y' elements to the plasmid. Similar recombination events occurring between different chromosome ends could lead to the dispersal and amplification of telomere-adjacent sequences.