We have characterized a family of moderately repetitive autonomously replicating sequences (ARSs) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Restriction mapping, deletion studies and hybridization studies suggest that these ARSs, which are probably less than 350 base-pairs in size, share one common feature: each is located close to, but not within, a repetitive sequence (131) of approximately 10(3) to approximately 1.5 X 10(3) base-pairs in length. These ARSs can be divided into two classes (X and Y) by their sequence homology and genomic environments. Each of the class X ARSs is embedded within a repetitive sequence (X) of variable length (approximately 0.3 X 10(3) to approximately 3.75 X 10(3) base-pairs); each of the class Y ARSs is embedded within a highly conserved repetitive sequence (Y) of approximately 5.2 X 10(3) base-pairs in length. Both of these sequences are located directly adjacent to the 131 sequence.