The effect of different ultraviolet radiation (UVR) treatments combining PAR (P), UVA (A) and UVB (B) on the molecular physiology of Dunaliella tertiolecta was studied during 6 days to assess the response to chronic UVR exposure. UVR reduced cell growth but did not cause cell death, as shown by the absence of SYTOX Green labeling and cellular morphology. However, caspase-like enzymatic activities (CLs), (regarded as cell death proteases), were active even though the cells were not dying. Maximal quantum yield of fluorescence (Fv /Fm ) and photosynthetic electron transport rate (ETR) dropped. Decreased nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) paralleled a drop in xanthophyll cycle de-epoxidation under UVB. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and D1 protein accumulation were inversely correlated. PAB exhibited elevated ROS production at earlier times. Once ROS decayed, D1 protein recovered two-fold compared with P and PA at later stages. Therefore, PsbA gene was still transcribed, suggesting ROS involvement in D1 recovery by its direct effect on mRNA-translation. We add evidence of an UVB-induced positive effect on the cells when P is present, providing photoprotection and resilience, by means of D1 repair. This allowed cells to survive. The photoprotective mechanisms described here (which are counterintuitive in principle) conform to an important ecophysiological response regarding light stress acclimation.