Autonomously replicating sequences (ARSs) of the yeast S. cerevisiae function as replication origins on plasmids and probably also on chromosomes. ARS function requires a copy of the ARS core consensus (5'-[A/T]TTTAT[A/G]TTT[A/T]-3') and additional sequences 3' to the T-rich strand of the consensus. Our analysis of an ARS from chromosome III, the C2G1 ARS, suggests that ARS function depends on the presence of an exact match to the core consensus and the presence of additional near matches in the 3' flanking region. We have demonstrated that ARS function can be mediated by multiple matches to the core consensus by constructing synthetic ARS elements from oligonucleotides containing copies of the consensus sequence. We find that two copies of the core consensus are sufficient for ARS activity and that an artificial ARS as efficient as a natural chromosomal ARS can be constructed from multiple core consensus elements in a specific orientation.