The formation of recombinants in Hfr crosses was studied in Escherichia coli strains carrying combinations of genes known to affect recombination and DNA repair. Mutations in ruv and recG eliminate activities that have been shown to process Holliday junction intermediates by nuclease cleavage and/or branch migration. Strains carrying null mutations in both ruv and recG produce few recombinants in Hfr crosses and are extremely sensitive to UV light. The introduction of additional mutations in recF, recJ, recO, recQ, or recR is shown to increase the yield of recombinants by 6- to 20-fold via a mechanism that depends on recBC. The products of these genes have been linked with the initiation of recombination. We propose that mutation of recF, recJ, recO, recQ, or recR redirects recombination to events initiated by the RecBCD enzyme. The strains constructed were also tested for sensitivity to UV light. Addition of recF, recJ, recN, recO, recQ, or recR mutations had no effect on the survival of ruv recG strains. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to molecular models for recombination and DNA repair that invoke different roles for the branch migration activities of the RuvAB and RecG proteins.