DNA damage, such as formation of single strand breaks and pyrimidine dimers was induced in yeast cells after irradiation by pulsed light, which were essentially the same as observed with continuous ultraviolet (UV) light. The UV-induced DNA damage is slightly higher than seen with pulsed light. However, increased concentration of eluted protein and structural change in the irradiated yeast cells were observed only in the case of pulsed light. A difference in the inactivation effect between pulsed light and UV light was found and this suggested cell membrane damage induced by pulsed light irradiation. It is proposed that pulsed light can be used as an effective sterilizing method for the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.