Certain genomic loci, termed hot spots, are predisposed to undergo genetic recombination during meiosis at higher levels relative to the rest of the genome. The factors that specify hot-spot potential are not well understood. The M26 hot spot of Schizosaccharomyces pombe is dependent on certain irons activators and a specific nucleotide sequence, which can function as a hot spot in a position- and orientation-independent fashion within ade6. In this report we demonstrate that a linear element (LE) component, Rec10, has a function that is required for activation of some, but not all, M26-containing hot spots and from this we propose that, with respect to hot-spot activity, there are three classes of M26-containing sequences. We demonstrate that the localized sequence context in which the M26 heptamer is embedded is a major factor governing whether or not this Rec10 function is required for full hot-spot activation. Furthermore, we show that the rec10-144 mutant, which is defective in full activation of ade6-M26, but proficient for activation of other M26-containing hot spots, is also defective in the formation of LEs, suggesting an intimate link between higher-order chromatin structure and local influences on hot-spot activation.