The many features that have made the hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans a good model system for studying development have also attracted investigators to the study of meiosis. Genetic analysis suggests that in C. elegans there are two types of chromosomal sites required for proper meiotic function. The first is needed early in meiosis for recombination and segregation. The second is involved in the mechanisms that establish the normal frequency and distribution of exchange. Genes whose products may interact with these sites have been identified by mutant analysis. Study of these mutations in the nematode is enhancing our general understanding of meiotic functions.