A physical map of 4q35 was constructed through radiation hybrid analysis of 134 clones generated from the cell line HHW416, a chromosome 4-only human-hamster somatic cell hybrid. This subtelomeric region contains the as-yet-unidentified gene responsible for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. The most likely order of 15 loci within 4q35 was determined. The loci ordered on this radiation hybrid map include both genes and polymorphic loci, as well as monomorphic loci which cannot be placed on a genetic linkage map. The physical distance spanning these loci was estimated to be approximately 4.5 Mb, by using a kilobase/centiray conversion factor derived from 4p16.3 marker analysis through the same set of radiation hybrids. The comparison of this physical map to establish genetic maps suggests that this region is smaller than initially estimated and that recombination rates are increased near the telomere.