Homologous DNA recombination occurs in all organisms and is important for repair of DNA damage during mitosis. One of the critical genes for DNA repair and meiotic recombination in yeast is RAD51, and homologs of RAD51 have been identified in several species, including mouse and human. Here we describe a new RAD51-related mammalian gene, named Rad51d, identified by searching the EST database with the yeast RAD55 and human RAD51B/REC2 genes. A full-length 1.5-kb mouse cDNA clone that encodes a predicted 329-amino-acid protein was isolated. Rad51d mRNA was present in every mouse tissue examined. Four different transcript sizes were detected, one of which was specific to testis. Human cDNA clones that predicted 71% amino acid identity to the mouse protein were also isolated. Interestingly, the sequences of these human clones and of RT-PCR-derived products provided evidence for alternative splicing. These mRNAs are predicted to encode proteins that are truncated relative to the mouse and lack the ATP-binding motif characteristic of RecA-related proteins. Using an interspecific backcross mapping panel, Rad51d was mapped to mouse Chromosome 11, 48.5 cM from the centromere. By radiation hybrid mapping, the human ortholog RAD51D was mapped to chromosome 17q11, which is a region syntenic to mouse Chromosome 11. Due to its expression pattern and sequence similarity to other RAD51 family members, it is likely that Rad51d is part of a complex of proteins required for DNA repair and meiotic recombination.