A pure culture of Microcystis aeruginosa or Anabaena variabilis, the representatives of water blooming algae, was exposed to low-pressure (LP) or medium-pressure (MP) UV lamps. Irradiated pure culture suspension was subsequently incubated for 7d under white light fluorescent lamps. During incubation, profiles of the number of cells, DNA damage and photosynthetic activity were determined. When UV fluence was 600mJ/cm(2), M. aeruginosa cell numbers decreased throughout the 7-d incubation period, to produce 1.5log reduction (LP) or 1.2log reduction (MP) compared with control. The amount of DNA damage was 2.02x10(-4) ESS/base (LP) and 3.42x10(-4) ESS/base (MP) just after UV irradiation, which became 0.05x10(-4) ESS/base and 0.23x10(-4) ESS/base, respectively, after 3d incubation. However, cell number kept decreasing, even after DNA repair. Photosynthetic activity decreased by 1.5log within 1d (LP) or 3d (MP). Thus, reduction in photosynthetic activity could contribute to the reduction in M. aeruginosa cell numbers. A. variabilis cell numbers reduced by 2.3log (LP) or 2.2log (MP) during the 7-d incubation period; however, after DNA damage repair, cell number began to increase. The amount of DNA damage was 6.07x10(-4) ESS/base (LP) and 4.48x10(-4) ESS/base (MP) just after UV irradiation, which became 0.23x10(-4) ESS/base and 0.40x10(-4) ESS/base, respectively, after 3d incubation. No reduction was observed in photosynthetic activity/cell. Therefore, DNA damage is the main contributor of the reduction in cell number of A. variabilis.