We have studied the relationship between DNA replication and recombination in Schizosaccharomyces pombe using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and functional analysis. Our results indicate that the activation of replication origins (ORIs) during the mitotic cell cycle is associated with the generation of joint DNA molecules between sister chromatids. The frequency of integration by homologous recombination was up to 50-fold higher than the genomic average within a narrow window overlapping the ars1 replication initiation site. The S. pombe rad22Delta, rhp51Delta, and rhp54Delta mutants, deficient in mitotic recombination, activate ORIs very inefficiently and accumulate abnormal replication intermediates. These results focus on the general link between replication and recombination previously found in several systems and suggest a role for recombination in the initiation of eukaryotic DNA replication.