A genetic system selecting for deletion events (DEL recombination) due to intrachromosomal recombination has previously been constructed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Intrachromosomal recombination is inducible by chemical and physical carcinogens. We wanted to understand better the mechanism of induced DEL recombination and to attempt to determine in which phase of the cell cycle DEL recombination is inducible. Yeast cells were arrested at specific phases of the cell cycle, irradiated with UV or gamma-rays, and assayed for DEL recombination and interchromosomal recombination. In addition, the contribution of intrachromatid crossing-over to the number of radiation induced DEL recombination events was directly investigated at different phases of the cell cycle. UV irradiation induced DEL recombination preferentially in S phase, while gamma-rays induced DEL recombination in every phase of the cell cycle including G1. UV and gamma-radiation induced intrachromatid crossing over preferentially in G1, but it accounted at the most for only 14% of the induced DEL recombination events. The possibility is discussed that single-strand annealing or one-sided invasion events, which can occur in G1 and may be induced by a double-strand break intermediate, may be responsible for a large proportion of the induced DEL recombination events.