The nucleosomal organization and the protein-binding capability of highly repeated and methylated satellite DNA of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), comprising approx. 30% of the genome, were analyzed. Nucleosomal core DNA from satellite type I was prepared after micrococcal nuclease digestion of chromatin and sequenced. Most of the core sequences obtained could be grouped in two main (A and B) and two minor groups (C and D) indicating a specific and complex phasing of nucleosomes on this satellite DNA. In vitro, gel retardation assays with cloned satellite DNA repeats (types I-IV) demonstrated a specific binding of nuclear proteins. These specific binding effects are also obtained with genomic, in vivo methylated and sequence heterogeneous (1 to 10% diversity) satellite type I DNA. For the first time in plants, a satellite DNA-binding protein with an apparent molecular weight of 14 kDa (SAT 14) was identified.