A method is described for the isolation and purification of covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA from yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Spheroplasts are lysed at pH 12.45 which denatures linear but not ccc DNA. Next, the lysate is taken through a gentle high-salt-phenol extraction to remove single-stranded DNA. The ccc DNA, recovered by ethanol precipitation, can be further studied by agarose gel electrophoresis, can be cut with restriction endonucleases and can be used to transform Escherichia coli. This method efficiently purifies large (approx. 190 kb) and small (approx. 1.5 kb, TRP1-RI Circle) circular DNAs and thus has general applicability for isolation and purification of plasmids from yeast.