Two X-ray-sensitive mutants of the CHO K1 cell line were examined for their cell-cycle progression after irradiation with ..gamma..-rays, and for their ability to rejoin double-strand breaks (DSBs) as detected by neutral filter elution. Both mutants were impaired in DSB rejoining and both were irreversibly blocked in the G/sub 2/ phase of the cell cycle as determined by cytofluorometry. From one mutant the authors have isolated several revertants. The revertants stem from genomic DNA transfection experiments and may have been caused by gene uptake. All revertants survived ..gamma..-irradiation as did the wild-type CHO line. One of them has been examined for its ability to rejoin DSBs and was found to be similar to the wild type.