Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein which synthesizes telomere repeats onto chromosome ends. Telomerase activity is involved in telomere length maintenance. We used Xenopus laevis as a model system to study the expression of telomerase activity in germline cells and during early development. We identified a non-processive telomerase activity in manually dissected nuclei of Xenopus stage VI oocytes. Telomerase activity was detected throughout oogenesis and embryogenesis. Telomerase was active in both S and M phase cell cycle extracts, suggesting that telomerase activity is not regulated with chromosomal DNA replication.