We have created an isogenic series of yeast strains that carry genetic systems to monitor different types of recombination and mutation [B. Liefshitz, A. Parket, R. Maya, M. Kupiec, The role of DNA repair genes in recombination between repeated sequences in yeast, Genetics 140 (1995) 1199-1211.]. In the present study we characterize the effect of mutations in genes of the 'error-prone' or postreplicative repair group on recombination and mutation. We show that rad5 and rad18 strains have elevated levels of spontaneous recombination, both of ectopic gene conversion and of recombination between direct repeats. The increase in recombination levels is similar in both mutants and in the rad5 rad18 double mutant, suggesting that the RAD5 and RAD18 gene products act together with respect to spontaneous recombination. In contrast, RAD5 and RAD18 play alternative roles in mutagenic repair: mutations in each of these genes elevate spontaneous forward mutation at the CAN1 locus, but when both genes are deleted, a low level of spontaneous mutagenesis is seen. The RAD5/RAD18 pathway of mutagenic repair is dependent on the REV3-encoded translesion polymerase. We analyze the interactions between the RAD5 and RAD18 gene products and other repair genes. The high recombination levels seen in rad5 and rad18 mutants is dependent on the RAD1, RAD51, RAD52, and RAD57 genes. The Srs2 helicase plays an important role in creating the recombinogenic substrate(s) processed by the RAD5 and RAD18 gene products.