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Tn5 insertion mutations in the recN gene, and in what appears to be a new RecF pathway gene designated recO and mapping at approximately 55.4 min on the standard genetic map, were isolated by screening Tn5 insertion mutations that cotransduced with tyrA. The recO1504::Tn5 mutation decreased the frequency of recombination during Hfr-mediated crosses and increased the susceptibility to killing by UV irradiation and mitomycin C when present in a recB recC sbcB background, but only increased the sensitivity to killing by UV irradiation when present in an otherwise Rec+ background. The effects of these and other RecF pathway mutations on plasmid recombination were tested. Mutations in the recJ, recO, and ssb genes, when present in otherwise Rec+ E. coli strains, decreased the frequency of plasmid recombination, whereas the lexA3, recAo281, recN, and ruv mutations had no effect on plasmid recombination. Tn5 insertion mutations in the lexA gene increased the frequency of plasmid recombination. These data indicate that plasmid recombination events in wild-type Escherichia coli strains are catalyzed by a recombination pathway that is related to the RecF recombination pathway and that some component of this pathway besides the recA gene product is regulated by the lexA gene product.