A cosmid/bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) contiguous (contig) map of human chromosome (HSA) 19p13.3 has been constructed, and over 50 genes have been localized to the contig. Genes and anonymous ESTs from approximately 4000 kb of human 19p13.3 were placed on the central mouse chromosome 10 map by genetic mapping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. A region of approximately 2500 kb of HSA 19p13.3 is collinear to mouse chromosome (MMU) 10. In contrast, the adjacent approximately 1200 kb are inverted. Two genes are located in a 50-kb region after the inversion on MMU 10, followed by a region of homology to mouse chromosome 17. The synteny breakpoint and one of the inversion breakpoints has been localized to sequenced regions in human <5 kb in size. Both breakpoints are rich in simple tandem repeats, including (TCTG)n, (CT)n, and (GTCTCT)n, suggesting that simple repeat sequences may be involved in chromosome breaks during evolution. The overall size of the region in mouse is smaller, although no large regions are missing. Comparing the physical maps to the genetic maps showed that in contrast to the higher-than-average rate of genetic recombination in gene-rich telomeric region on HSA 19p13.3, the average rate of recombination is lower than expected in the homologous mouse region. This might indicate that a hot spot of recombination may have been lost in mouse or gained in human during evolution, or that the position of sequences along the chromosome (telomeric compared to the middle of a chromosome) is important for recombination rates.