Abstract A UV-hypersensitive mutant of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, termed 43-3B, has been used in a comparative study with the wild type CHO in order to determine the involvement of repair in several postirradiation phenomena. 43-3B has the same growth rate and chromosome number as the wild type CHO-9. It is hypersensitive to UV irradiation (D0 of 0.3 J/m2 as compared to 3.2 J/m2 for the wild type). 43-3B shows only about 17% of the UV-stimulated unscheduled DNA repair synthesis of CHO-9 as measured by autoradiography. When breaks in supercoiled chromatin are measured after UV by the nucleoid sedimentation method, the mutant appears to be capable of carrying out only limited incision. A much reduced ability to recover control rates of semiconservative DNA synthesis after UV irradiation was observed in the repair-deficient 43-3B cell line, suggesting that the removal of UV-induced replication blocks by excision repair is the most important factor in allowing recovery of UV-inhibited DNA synthesis. Recovery of colony-forming ability between fractionated UV exposures was observed in the wild type CHO-9, but little recovery was seen in 43-3B. This indicates that excision repair capability can also be important in split-fluence recovery.