The concentration dependence for the protection of isolated transforming DNA and Escherichia coli by glycerol against 365-nm monochromatic near-ultraviolet light (UV) was measured. Glycerol protection saturates at a concentration of about 0.1 M for DNA and 1.0 M for E. coli. Action spectra for glycerol protection of transforming DNA (tryptophan and histidine markers) are similar to those obtained previously for diazobicyclo[2.2.2.˜octane (DABCO) protection, with protection reaching a maximum near 350-nm UV and decreasing rapidly at wavelengths above and below 350 nm. However, glycerol protects against near-UV about twice as efficiently as DABCO. The action spectrum for protection of E. coli by glycerol against the lethal effects of near-UV was not the same as the spectrum for DNA since glycerol sensitized the cells, but not the DNA, at wavelengths longer than about 380 nm. A possible role of hydroxyl or other radicals was supported by the observation that benzoate also protected DNA against inactivation by 334-nm UV.