Many of the proteins involved in meiotic recombination are conserved among eukaryotes, and here we discuss those recombination proteins that have been identified in plants. In addition, we summarize some of the differences in crossover regulation between plants and budding yeast (the primary model for molecular studies of recombination in eukaryotes). We also discuss factors that influence the distribution of crossovers including chromosome, chromatin and genomic structure. Different methods have been used for mapping recombination in plants including genetic linkage maps, cytogenetic maps (e.g., chiasmata and recombination nodules), and physical maps (DNA sequence and contigs). Progress has been made in integrating the different types of maps to provide a more complete understanding of genome structure and function in plants, including the control of meiotic recombination.