Reciprocal recombination is one of the most important factors responsible for generating genetic diversity among organisms. This exchange between two non-sister chromatids of homologous chromosomes starts at the onset of meiosis, and culminates in the formation of chiasmata. Chiasmata are not evenly spread through the genome in species such as wheat, barley, rye and ryegrass, as they occur more frequently in distal regions of the chromosomes.. It is estimated that in barley about 50% of genes are confined to cold regions of recombination, and are effectively locked into large linkage groups. The aim of this project is to shift the sites of recombination into these backwaters, with the aim of releasing trapped genetic variation. The initial stage of the project is to accurately map the distribution and frequency of recombination events in barley through the use of immunolocalisation and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Detection of meiotic proteins using immunolocalisation with antibodies raised against meiotic proteins involved in the late stages of recombination in Arabidopsis, in conjunction with antibodies that bind to the synaptonemal complex will reveal the pattern of recombination for each chromosome pair. In order to identify each chromosome of the complement, FISH with single-locus bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) in conjunction with rDNA probes have been used, thus enabling the assembly of recombination maps for specific chromosomes. To preserve three-dimensional structure, meiocytes were embedded in polyacrylamide and optically sectioned using a wide-field fluorescence microscope equipped with a motorised stage. The development and application of this new cytological method for describing both the frequency and distribution of recombination will be discussed.