The ability of mutagenic agents, nonmutagenic substances and defects in DNA repair to alter the genotype of F' partial diploid (F30) Escherichia coli was determined. The frequency of auxotrophic mutants and histidine requiring (His-) haploid colonies was increased by mutagen treatment but Hfr colonies were not detected in F30 E. coli even with specific selection techniques. Genotype changes due to nonreciprocal recombination were determined by measuring the frequency of His- homogenotes, eg. F' hisC780, hisI+/hisC780, hisI+, arising from a His+ heterogenote, F' hisC780 hisI+/hisC+, his1903. At least 75% of the recombinants were homozygous for histidine alleles which were present on the F' plasmid (exogenote) of the parental hetergenote rather than for histidine alleles on the chromosome. Mutagens, chemotherapeutic agents which histidine alleles on the chromosome. Mutagens, chemotherapeutic agents which block DNA synthesis and a defective DNA polymerase I gene, polA1, were found to increase the frequency of nonreciprocal recombination. A defect in the ability to excise thymine dimers, uvrC34, did not increase spontaneous nonreciprocal recombination. However, UV irradiation but not methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) induced greater recombination in this excision-repair defective mutant than in DNA-repair-proficient strains. Mutagenic agents, with the exception of ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), induced greater increases in recombination than the chemotherapeutic agents or the polA1 mutation. EMS, which causes relatively little degradation of DNA, was more mutagenic but less recombinogenic than MMS, a homologous compound ths that inhibition of DNA occurring single-stranded regions in replicative intermediates of the DNA. Mutagens which cause the rapid breakdown of DNA may, in addition, introduce lesions into the genome that increase the number of single-stranded regions thus inducing even higher frequencies of recombination.