Cleavage products resulting from DNase I treatment of adenoviral nucleoprotein were examined by gel electrophoresis, Southern blotting and hybridization to cloned restriction fragments derived from various regions of the viral genome. DNase I produced specific double-stranded cleavages in DNA of purified adenoviral cores and in DNA of intranuclear viral chromatin at early and late times of infection. At least some of these sites were also cleaved by DNase I in purified viral DNA, showing that sequence specificity of DNase I cleavage may contribute to the observation of specific double-stranded DNase I cleavage sites in adenoviral nucleoprotein. In addition, sites were observed which were specific either for cores or for intranuclear chromatin. In contrast to many cellular genes which have been characterized, there was no obvious relationship between DNase I cleavage sites and other features of the viral genome such as promoters or polyadenylation sites.