Abstract The DNA of bacteriophage SPO2c12 was treated with methylmethane sulfonate (MMS), β-propiolactone (BPL), 2-anthramine (AA) or benzo[ a]pyrene (BP) and then exposed to 254-nm radiation. Competent Bacillus subtilis host cells were transfected with DNA subjected to the carcinogen-UV treatment or with DNA treated with carcinogen only. Survival curves were obtained for loss of plaque-forming ability as a function of UV dose. The UV sensitivity of DNA treated with MMS, BPL or AA was not significantly different from that of untreated DNA. The results indicate that in competent B. subtilis the pathways for repair of alkylating agent damage and for repair of UV damage are probably different.