A site-specific inversion event is responsible for phase transition in Salmonella, as indicated by heteroduplex analysis of recombinant molecules carrying the gene coding for H2 flagellin in Salmonella. The inversion region corresponds to approximately 800 base pairs in length, and the inversion process does not appear to be dependent upon the E. coli RecA recombination pathway. Specific deletion derivatives of the cloned fragments no longer produce H2-specific flagella, effectively mapping the H2 gene within about 300 bp of the inversion region. Recombinant products of the hybrid molecules arose spontaneously, and they were used in the mapping of restriction sites within the inversion region. The restriction maps further demonstrate the extent and nature of the inversion.