Relaxed circular, covalently closed simian virus 40 DNA molecules were associated with the four histones that are present in virions. In electron micrographs the resulting complexes appear twisted, with globular structures (nucleosomes) along the DNA. Incubation with an untwisting extract converts the twisted complexes to relaxed structures. Extraction of the DNA from the relaxed complexes yields supercoiled molecules. The number of superhelical turns in these molecules corresponds to the number of nucleosomes per DNA molecule in the complexes.