Abstract Ionizing radiation induces balanced reciprocal translocations in spermatogonial stem cells of mice. From cells carrying these rearrangements, which can be scored cytologically in the diakinesis-metaphase I stage, balanced normal, balanced translocated and unbalanced (duplication/deficiency) sperm can be produced. The relationship between expected (calculated from cytological data) and observed frequencies of embryonic lethality (presumably as a result of unbalanced sperm fertilizing the egg) following exposure of spermatogonial stem cells to X-rays was studied in two hybrid stocks. A marked difference in the incidence of induced embryonic lethality was found between the two stocks. Similarly, a difference in the cytological frequencies of translocations was also found, although smaller than that observed for embryomic lethality. Thus, it appears that the difference between the two stocks in the frequencies of embryonic lethality may be attributable both to processes occurring prior to metaphase I and to a difference in the rate of transmission of unbalanced chromosome constitutions.