Ddp2 is a 5.8-kb, high-copy-number, nuclear plasmid found in the eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum. We have identified two functional domains, a large open reading frame (Rep gene) and a 626-bp fragment containing an origin of replication (ori). The ori, when cloned into a shuttle vector, confers stable extrachromosomal replication in D. discoideum, provided that the Rep gene, which acts intrans, is integrated into the host genome. Ddp2 carries a 501-bp imperfect inverted repeat, and part of the ori overlaps with one of these repeats. The ori sequence contains two direct repeats of 49 bp comprising two 10-bp "TGTCATGACA" palindromes separated by a poly(T · A) sequence. Deletion of either 49-bp repeat abolished extrachromosomal replication.