Abstract— The impact of UV-B radiation on growth, pigmentation and certain physiological processes has been studied in a N2-fixing chromatically adapting cyanobacterium, Nostoc spongiaeforme. A brownish form (phycoerythrin rich) was found to be more tolerant to UV-B than the blue-green (phycocyanin rich) form of N. spongiaeforme. Continuous exposure to UV-B (5.5 W m-2) for 90 min caused complete killing of the blue-green strain whereas the brown strain showed complete loss of survival after 180 min. Pigment content was more strongly inhibited in the blue-green strain than in the brown. Nitrogenase activity was completely abolished in both strains within 35 min of UV-B treatment. Restoration of nitrogenase occurred upon transfer to fluorescent or incandescent light after a lag of 5–6 h, suggesting fresh synthesis of nitrogenase. Unlike the above processes, in vivo nitrate reductase activity was stimulated by UV-B treatment, the degree of enhancement being significantly higher in the blue-green strain. Like the effect of UV-B on nitrogenase, 14CO2 uptake was also completely abolished by UV-B treatment in both strains. Our findings suggest that UV-B may produce a deleterious effect on several metabolic activities of cyanobacteria, especially in cells lacking phycoerythrin. Strains containing phycoerythrin appear to be more tolerant to UV-B, probably because of their inherent property of adapting to a variety of light qualities.