A nonsense allele of the yeast RAD52 gene, rad52-327, which expresses the N-terminal 65% of the protein was compared to two missense alleles, rad52-1 and rad52-2, and to a deletion allele. While the rad52-1 and the deletion mutants have severe defects in DNA repair, recombination and sporulation, the rad52-327 and rad52-2 mutants retain either partial or complete capabilities in repair and recombination. These two mutants behave similarly in most tests of repair and recombination during mitotic growth. One difference between these two alleles is that a homozygous rad52-2 diploid fails to sporulate, whereas the homozygous rad52-327 diploid sporulates weakly. The low level of sporulation by the rad52-327 diploid is accompanied by a low percentage of spore viability. Among these viable spores the frequency of crossing over for markers along chromosome VII is the same as that found in wild-type spores. rad52-327 complements rad52-2 for repair and sporulation. Weaker intragenic complementation occurs between rad52-327 and rad52-1.