The effect of UV radiation and UV radiation combined with alkylnitrosourea derivatives (N-methyl-N-nitrosourea and N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea) was observed on survival of cells of the algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. In particular, single parts were evaluated of the overall lethal effect - dying of cells before division and dying of cells after division. It was found that the combined action of low doses of UV radiation and alkylnitrosoureas result in a pronounced protective effect which manifests itself by a higher frequency of surviving cells than was that effected by the action of alkylnitrosoureas alone. As a result of combined action with higher doses of UV radiation this effect is lost, and the resultant values will come close to the theoretically anticipated values. This gradual transition from a protective to an additive effect mainly manifests itself by changes in the proportion of cells dying before division.