Mutations in the Drosophila maternal genes plutonium (plu) and pan gu (png) have the striking phenotype that DNA replication initiates in unfertilized eggs. Fertilized eggs from plu or png mutant mothers also have a mutant phenotype; DNA replication is uncoupled from nuclear division, resulting in giant, polyploid nuclei. Analysis of multiple alleles of these genes indicates that their wild-type function is required to maintain repression of DNA replication until fertilization. The phenotype of two png alleles suggests that this gene also may play a direct role in coupling S phase and mitosis during the early cleavage divisions. We describe genetic interactions among png, plu, and the previously identified gene gnu that demonstrate these three genes regulate the same process.