The authors have investigated the ability of the hamster oocyte to initiate DNA synthesis in nuclei differing in basic protein content. DNA synthesis was studied by autoradiography in oocytes that had been incubated in 3H-thymidine after being parthenogenetically activated by sham microinjection, or microinjected with hamster, mouse, rabbit, or fish sperm nuclei, or hamster hepatocyte nuclei. Within 6 hr of sham or nucleus microinjection, nuclei of each type underwent transformation into pronuclei and synthesized DNA. These results demonstrated that the hamster egg can access and utilize its own and each type of template provided, whether homologous or heterologous. However, pronuclei derived from hamster sperm nuclei were more likely to be synthesizing DNA at 6 hr than pronuclei derived from sperm nuclei of other species. The authors conclude that the mechanisms employed by the hamster oocyte to transform hamster sperm nuclei into pronuclei and to effect DNA synthesis in these nuclei are not specific for the hamster sperm nucleus. Nevertheless, these mechanisms apparently operate more efficiently when the hamster sperm nucleus, rather than a heterologous sperm nucleus, is present.