Extrachromosomal elements are common early intermediates of gene amplification in vivo and in cell culture. The time at which several extrachromosomal elements replicate was compared with that of the corresponding amplified or unamplified chromosomal sequences. The replication timing analysis employed a retroactive synchrony method in which fluorescence-activated cell sorting was used to obtain cells at different stages of the cell cycle. Extrachromosomally amplified Syrian hamster CAD genes (CAD is an acronym for the single gene which encodes the trifunctional protein which catalyzes the first three steps of uridine biosynthesis) replicated in a narrow window of early S-phase which was approximately the same as that of chromosomally amplified CAD genes. Similarly, extrachromosomally amplified mouse adenosine deaminase genes replicated at a discrete time in early S-phase which approximated the replication time of the unamplified adenosine deaminase gene. In contrast, the multicopy extrachromosomal Epstein-Barr virus genome replicated within a narrow window in late S-phase in latently infected human Rajii cells. The data indicate that localization within a chromosome is not required for the maintenance of replication timing control.