In Drosophila, MR (male recombination) second chromosomes are known to act as mutators and recombination inducers in males. The induction of visible mutations by MR is observed at only a limited number of genes, such as singed bristle (sn), raspberry eye colour (ras), yellow body colour (y) and a carmine eye colour (car). Furthermore, sn mutations induced by MR are highly unstable, changing from a strong to a weak expression or reverting to the wild-type. It has been hypothesized by analogy with IS mutations in microorganisms, that MR-induced mutations also represent mutations of the insertion type. In this investigation the stability of two MR-h12-induced X-linked visible mutations was tested, one singed (snMR) and one raspberry (rasMR). The reversion frequency of both MR-induced mutations was low in the base population as well as upon outcrossing to C(1)DX, yw f females. The data reported here show that the MR-induced mutations become highly unstable when MR is re-introduced. The change of expression of an MR-induced mutation to a weaker phenotype or to the wild-type occurred at a frequency of 3.3 X 10(-3) (ras) to 20.4 X 10(-3) (sn). Recessive lethal mutations induced by MR in the X-chromosomes carrying the MR-induced singed or raspberry mutation were isolated and analysed. Among 11 independently MR-induced lethals in the rasMR-carrying X-chromosome, 4 were found to be allelic to a small deficiency that included the raspberry gene. 13 lethals were induced by MR in the snMR-carrying X-chromosome. Of these, 3 were located near the sn locus but none was allelic to a deficiency including the singed gene.