To ascertain the mechanism by which nucleosomes are assembled by factors derived from Drosophila embryos, two proteins termed Drosophila chromatin assembly factors (CAFs) 1 and 4 (dCAF-1 and dCAF-4) were fractionated and purified from a Drosophila embryo extract. The assembly of chromatin by dCAF-1, dCAF-4, purified histones, ATP, and DNA is a process that generates regularly spaced nucleosomal arrays with a repeat length that resembles that of bulk native Drosophila chromatin and is not obligatorily coupled to DNA replication. The assembly of chromatin by dCAF-1 and dCAF-4 is nearly complete within 10 min. The dCAF-1 activity copurified with the Drosophila version of chromatin assembly factor-1 (CAF-1), a factor that has been found to be required for the assembly of chromatin during large tumor (T) antigen-mediated, simian virus 40 (SV40) origin-dependent DNA replication. The dCAF-4 activity copurified with a 56-kDa core-histone-binding protein that was purified to > 90% homogeneity.