The 140-kb a1-sh2 interval of the maize genome contains at least four genes (a1, yz1, x1, and sh2). Partial sequence analysis of two haplotypes has revealed many single nucleotide polymorphisms and InDel polymorphisms, including several large structural polymorphisms. The physical positions of 101 meiotic recombination breakpoints are not distributed uniformly across the interval and are instead concentrated within three recombination hot spots. Two of these recombination hot spots are genic (a1 and yz1) and one is apparently nongenic. The x1 gene is not a recombination hot spot. Thus, these results suggest that not all hot spots are genes and indicate that not all genes are hot spots. Two of the 101 recombination events arose by means of either noncrossover events involving conversion tract lengths of at least 17 kb or double-crossover events. Only one recombination breakpoint mapped to the approximately 80-kb distal portion of the a1-sh2 interval that contains large amounts of repetitive DNA including retrotransposons; in this region the ratio of genetic to physical distance is less than 0.5% of the genome's average. These results establish that the retrotransposon faction of the maize genome is relatively inert recombinationally.