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Abstract— The effects of singlet oxygen (1O2), generated by the thermal decomposition of water soluble NDPO2 (endoperoxide of the disodium 3,3'-(1,4-naphthylidene) dipropionate), on a single-stranded shuttle vector were analysed. 1O2 induces a much higher level of breaks in the phosphodiester backbone of single-stranded than double-stranded DNA. This may be due to a higher accessibility of guanine residue, primarily damaged by 1O2. The damaged vector was transfected into monkey COS7 cells where single-stranded DNA was converted to the double-stranded replicative form DNA. After 3 days, extrachromosomal DNA was extracted and the plasmids rescued in E. coli to study mutagenesis. There is a significant increase in mutation frequency of damaged single-stranded DNA in comparison to untreated DNA. It is concluded that 1O2 induces breaks in the backbone of single-stranded DNA and that the 1O2-damaged molecules are mutated after passage through mammalian cells.