Transformation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains was examined by using the URA3 and TRP1 genes cloned into M13 vectors in the absence of sequences capable of promoting autonomous replication. These constructs transform S. cerevisiae cells to prototrophy by homologous recombination with the resident mutant gene. Single-stranded DNA was found to transform S. cerevisiae cells at efficiencies greater than that of double-stranded DNA. No conversion of single-stranded transforming DNA into duplex forms could be detected during the transformation process, and we conclude that single-stranded DNA may participate directly in recombination with chromosomal sequences. Transformation with single-stranded DNA gave rise to both gene conversion and reciprocal exchange events. Cotransformation with competing heterologous single-stranded DNA specifically inhibited transformation by single-stranded DNA, suggesting that one of the components in the transformation-recombination process has a preferential affinity for single-stranded DNA.