Linear and nonlinear processes of generation and transformation of optical vortices in crystals were investigated. New universal methods for production of Bessel light beams with optical vortices of the first, second and higher order by means of uniaxial and biaxial crystals were proposed. Light beams with optical vortices of topological charge +/- 1 and +/- 2 are experimentally obtained using KTP and HIO3 (iodic acid) biaxial crystals. We studied type II second harmonic generation by Bessel beams with optical vortices in nonlinear crystals. Results of investigation of the processes of Bessel light vortex order doubling, transfer of vortex to the second harmonic radiation, and annihilation of optical vortices with the opposite signa are presented.© (2001) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.