We have compared a number of procedures for the transformation of whole cells of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and assessed the effects of dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) or ethanol, both of which have been reported to enhance transformation efficiency. We find that simplified methods benefit from the addition of one of these compounds, and although differences are observed between strains as to the more beneficial reagent, peak transformation efficiency is, in general obtained with 10% DMSO or 10% EtOH. Increases of between six- and 50-fold are observed, despite a reduction in cell viability, and at this concentration the two compounds are not additive in their effects. The optimum level appears to depend on a balance between improved DNA uptake and reduced cell viability. As a result of this work we present a straightforward and rapid transformation procedure.