DnaA initiates the chromosomal DNA replication in nearly all bacteria, and replication origins are characterized by binding sites for the DnaA protein (DnaA-boxes) along with an ‘AT-rich’ region. However, great variation in number, spatial organization and specificity of DnaA-boxes is observed between species. In the study by Taylor et al. (2011), new and unexpectedly weak DnaA-boxes were identified within the Caulobacter crescentus origin of replication (Cori). The position of weak and stronger DnaA-boxes follows a pattern seen in Escherichia coli oriC. This raises the possibility that bacterial origins might be more alike than previously thought.