Rat liver chromatin has been separated into nuclease-sensitive and -resistant fractions after mild digestion with DNAase II. The nuclease-sensitive material is further fractionated into Mg2+ -soluble and -insoluble chromatin fractions. The kinetics of production of these chromatin fractions have been investigated. After a brief enzyme treatment (5 min at 10 enzyme units/A260 unit of chromatin at pH 6.6), 11% of the input chromatin DNA is found in the Mg2+ -soluble fraction. This DNA has a weight-average single-strand length of about 400 nucleotides and, as determined by renaturation kinetics, comprises a subset of nonrepetitive DNA sequences and a subset of families of middle repetitive sequences. This demonstrates the nonrandom distribution of repetitive and single copy sequences in the Mg2+ -soluble fraction of chromatin. Previous studies have shown that the Mg2+ -soluble fraction is enriched in nonrepeated sequences which are transcribed in vivo (Gottesfeld, J.M., Garrard, W.T., Bagi, G., Wilson, R.F., and Bonner, J. (1974), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 71, 2193-2197). We now report that the Mg2+ -soluble fraction of liver chromatin contains a low proportion of sequences in common with the Mg2+ -soluble fraction of brain chromatin. Thus, fractionation does not depend on some general property of chromatin but is specific with regard to the template activity of the tissue from which the chromatin was obtained.