Strand breaks and conformational changes of DNA have consequences for the physiological role of DNA. The natural protecting molecule ectoine is beneficial to entire bacterial cells and biomolecules such as proteins by mitigating detrimental effects of environmental stresses. It was postulated that ectoine-like molecules bind to negatively charged spheres that mimic DNA surfaces. We investigated the effect of ectoine on DNA and whether ectoine is able to protect DNA from damages caused by ultraviolet radiation (UV-A). In order to determine different isoforms of DNA, agarose gel electrophoresis and atomic force microscopy experiments were carried out with plasmid pUC19 DNA. Our quantitative results revealed that a prolonged incubation of DNA with ectoine leads to an increase in transitions from supercoiled (undamaged) to open circular (single-strand break) conformation at pH 6.6. The effect is pH dependent and no significant changes were observed at physiological pH of 7.5. After UV-A irradiation in ectoine solution, changes in DNA conformation were even more pronounced and this effect was pH dependent. We hypothesize that ectoine is attracted to the negatively charge surface of DNA at lower pH and therefore fails to act as a stabilizing agent for DNA in our in vitro experiments.