Abstract Inhibitors of DNA polymerase have been detected in Xenopus laevis ovary and egg extracts. The characteristics of the inhibitors differ between the two extracts. In ovary preparations, the inhibitor is retained by dialysis tubing and is heat sensitive, whereas in egg extracts it is diffusable and heat stable. In both extracts, the activity co-elutes with DNA polymerase after ion exchange chromatography. Chromatography of ovary extracts renders the inhibitor diffusable and heat stable. Preliminary characterisation of inhibitory activity from eggs shows that the substance is sensitive to pronase digestion and has an approx. 300–500 molecular weight. Kinetic studies demonstrate that the inhibitor is uncompetitive with the DNA template and show mixed inhibitory kinetics with respect to the deoxynucleotides.