Mutation induction by heavy ions is compared in yeast and mammalian cells. Since mutants can only be recovered in survivors the influence of inactivation cross sections has to be taken into account. It is shown that both the size of the sensitive cellular site as well as track structure play an important role. Another parameter which influences the probability of mutation induction is repair: Contrary to naive assumptions primary radiation damage does not directly lead to mutations but requires modification to reconstitute the genetic machinery so that mutants can survive. The molecular structure of mutations was analyzed after exposure to deuterons by amplification with the aid of polymerase chain reaction. The results-although preliminary-demonstrate that even with densely ionizing particles a large fraction does not carry big deletions which suggests that point mutations may also be induced by heavy ions.