The comparison of the Km and Vmax values for the primers was carried out. The primers were either completely complementary to the template or contained non-complementary bases at different positions with respect to the 3'-end. The addition of NaF, selectively inhibiting 3'----5'-exonuclease activity of the enzyme, was shown to result in the increase of Vmax values by 10% and 30% for complementary and partially complementary primers, respectively, Km values of the latters being unchanged. Km values for d[(pT)10pC] is about 146-fold greater than that for d[(pT)11]. Km values for d[(pT)7pC(pT)2] (20 microM) and d[[(pT)2pC]3pT] (20 microM); d[(pT)4pC(pT)5] (5.0 microM); d[(pC)(pT)7] (1.3 microM) and d[(pT)2pC(pT)7] (1.2 microM) are comparable with those for d[(pT)2] (22 microM), d[(pT)5] (4.1 microM) and d[(pT)7] (1.2 microM), respectively, but not with the decathymidylate d[(pT)10] (0.2 microM). We suggest that it is not the length of the primers but the number of bases in the fragment beginning with the first nucleotide from the 3'-end and ending in the non-complementary base, that determines the efficiency of interaction of the primers containing non-complementary bases with the enzyme. The addition of one link to d(pT)n (n less than or equal to 10) resulted in a 1.8-fold increase in the affinity. When 11 less than n less than 25 the affinity is decreased so that d(pT)22-23 have minimal affinity to the enzyme. The primers containing more than 50 units were found to have about the same affinity (calculated on base concentration) as d(pT)10-11.