varphiX174 and M13 (fd) single-stranded circular DNAs are converted to their replicative forms by extracts of E. coli pol A1 cells. We find that the varphiX174 DNA-dependent reaction requires Mg(++), ATP, and all four deoxynucleoside triphosphates, but not CTP, UTP, or GTP. This reaction also involves the products of the dnaC, dnaD, dnaE (DNA polymerase III), and dnaG genes, but not that of dnaF (ribonucleotide reductase). The in vitro conversion of fd single-stranded DNA to the replicative form requires all four ribonucleoside triphosphates, Mg(++), and all four deoxynucleoside triphosphates. The reaction involves the product of gene dnaE but not those of genes dnaC, dnaD, dnaF, or dnaG. The reaction with fd DNA is inhibited by rifampicin or antibody to RNA polymerase, while the reaction with varphiX174 DNA is not affected by either. With the varphiX174 DNA-dependent reaction, activities have been detected that specifically complement extracts of dnaA, dnaB, dnaC, dnaD, or dnaG mutants.