X-chromosome inactivation was investigated cytologically using the modified Kanda method which differentially stains inactive X-chromosome material at metaphase in balanced 13 1/2-day female embryos heterozygous for four X-autosome rearrangements, reciprocal translocations T(X;4)37H, T(X;11)38H and T(X;16)16H (Searle's translocation) and the insertion translocation Is(7;X)1 Ct (Cattanach's translocation). In all cases non-random inactivation was found. In the reciprocal translocation heterozygotes only one translocation product ever showed Kanda staining. In addition in a proportion of cells from T(X;4)37H, T(X;11)38H and Is(7;X)1Ct the Kanda staining revealed differential staining of X-chromosome material and attached autosomal material within the translocation product. In a study of 8 1/2-day female embryos doubly heterozygous for Searle's translocation and Cattanach's translocation two unbalanced types of embryo were found. In one type of unbalanced female embryo of the karyotype 40(X(7)/X16;16/16) no inactivated X-chromosomal material is found. A second unbalanced type of female embryo, of the presumptive karyotype 40(X(7)/XN;16X/16) was found in which two inactivated chromosomes were present in the majority of metaphase spreads. A simple model for the initiation of X-chromosome inactivation based on the presence of a single inactivation centre distal to the breakpoint in Searle's translocation explains these findings.