A recombinant pAT153 plasmid carrying the whole simian virus 40 (SV40) genome in the form of two consecutive Pst I restriction fragments was rapidly isolated using a commercially available minipreps DNA purification system. This rapid and simple method was used to extract SV40 DNA from infected Vero monkey cells. Viral DNA replication in persistently infected SVP-1 monkey cells was also conveniently followed over a period of 8 d by agarose gel electrophoresis and molecular hybridization using minipreps and the recombinant plasmid (pLCB104) as a probe. Unsatisfactory results were obtained, however, when herpes simplex virus DNA was tentatively extracted from infected Vero cells with the above method. Only covalently closed circular DNA molecules, with two strands unable to separate fully under denaturing conditions, were apparently retained after rapid neutralization by the silicone-based minipreps DNA purification resin.