The powerful combination of genetic and biochemical analysis has provided many key insights into the structure and function of the chromosomal DNA replication machineries of bacterial and eukaryotic cells. In contrast, in the archaea, biochemical studies have dominated, mainly due to the absence of efficient genetic systems for these organisms. This situation is changing, however, and, in this regard, the genetically tractable haloarchaea Haloferax volcanii and Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 are emerging as key models. In the present review, I give an overview of the components of the replication machinery in the haloarchaea, with particular emphasis on the protein factors presumed to travel with the replication fork.

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