To further our understanding of the structure and organization of the zebrafish genome, we have undertaken the analysis of highly and middle-repetitive DNA sequences. We have cloned and sequenced two families of tandemly repeated DNA fragments. The monomer units of the Type I satellite-like sequence are 186 bp long, A+T-rich (65%), and exhibit a high degree of sequence conservation. The Type I satellite-like sequence constitutes 8% of the zebrafish genome, or approximately 8 x 10(5) copies per haploid genome. Southern analysis of genomic DNA, digested with several restriction endonucleases, shows a ladder of hybridizing bands, consistent with a tandem array, and suggests longer range periodic variations in the sequence of the tandem repeats. The Type II satellite has a monomer length of 165 bp, is also A+T-rich (68%), and constitutes 0.2% of the zebrafish genome (22,000 copies per haploid genome). Southern analysis reveals a complex pattern rather than a ladder of regularly spaced hybridizing bands.