Algae: Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Biotechnology, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover


Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Biotechnology, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Laura Barsanti, Paolo Gualtieri

CRC Press

361 pages | 40 Color Illus. | 165 B/W Illus.

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A single-source reference on the biology of algae, Algae: Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Biotechnology, Second Edition examines the most important taxa and structures for freshwater, marine, and terrestrial forms of algae. Its comprehensive coverage goes from algae's historical role through its taxonomy and ecology to its natural product possibilities.

The authors have gathered a significant amount of new material since the publication of the first edition. This completely revised second edition contains many changes and additions including the following:

  • All revised and rewritten tables, plus new figures, many in color
  • A fascinating new chapter: Oddities and Curiosities in the Algal World
  • Expanded information on algal anatomy
  • Absorption spectra from all algal divisions, chlorophylls, and accessory pigments
  • Additional information on collection, storage, and preservation of algae
  • Updated section on algal toxins and algal bioactive molecules

The book's unifying theme is on the important role of algae in the earth's self-regulating life support system and its function within restorative models of planetary health. It also discusses algae's biotechnological applications, including potential nutritional and pharmaceutical products. Written for students as well as researchers, teachers, and professionals in the field of phycology and applied phycology, this new full-color edition is both illuminating and inspiring.


Praise for the first edition:

"…stands out for its in-depth information on structural and mechanical anatomy, with flagella as the most prominent example. The meticulous and elegant drawings of algal apparatuses and their mechanics make it easy to understand complex structures and functions, as well as constitutes another outstanding feature of this book."

—Senjie Lin, Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 81, December 2006

"Not intended to be comprehensive, this text is nonetheless packed with information on the general biology, anatomy, phylogeny, biochemistry, and culture of algae. The chapters…provide practical information and an excellent demonstration of the application of scientific knowledge. Highly recommended for students and experts alike…"

—Southeastern Naturalist, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2006

". . . a good book, which presents well, is well put together and does deliver its objectives as stated in the preface."

—Philip S Manson, Convance Laboratories Ltd., in BTS Newsletter, Winter 2007, No. 31

". . . the authors concentrate on highlighting interesting and illuminating topics, with the idea of inciting the sort of wonder and curiosity that will encourage further outstanding research."

—Willem F. Prud’homme van Reine, in Blumea, 2006, Vol. 51, No. 3

Table of Contents

General Overview



Occurrence and Distribution

Structure of Thallus—Cytomorphological Types



Summaries of the 11 Algal Phyla

Endosymbiosis and Origin of Eukaryotic Photosynthesis


Cytomorphology and Ultrastructure

Outside the Cell

Flagella and Associated Structures

The photoreceptor Apparata


The Nucleus, Nuclear Division, and Cytokinesis

Ejectile Organelles and Feeding Apparatus




Light-dependent Reactions

Light-Independent Reactions

The Energy Relationships in Photosynthesis: The Balance Sheet

Working with Light

How Light Behaves

Field instruments, Use and Application



Units conversion

PAR Detectors

The Photosynthesis–Irradiance Response Curve (P vs E Curve)


Biogeochemical Role of Algae

The Role of Algae in Biogeochemistry

Limiting Nutrients

Algae and the Phosphorus Cycle

Algae and the Nitrogen Cycle

Algae and the Silicon Cycle

Algae and the Sulfur Cycle

Algae and the Oxygen–Carbon Cycles

Algal Culturing

Collection, Storage, and Preservation

Culture Types

Culture Parameters

Culture Vessels

Media Choice and Preparation

Sterilization of Culture Materials

Culture Methods

Outdoor Ponds


Quantitative Determinations of Algal Density and Growth

Algae Utilization


Sources and Uses of Algae

Human food

Animal feed




Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals


Oddities and Curiosities in the Algal World

In the Realm of Darkness

Algae–Animal Interaction: Riding a Sloth, Swinging on a Spider Web, Swimming in a Jelly

Someone Like it Cold

Someone Like it Hot

Someone Like it Dry

About the Authors

Dr. Paolo Gualtieri graduated in biology and computer science from the University of Pisa, Italy. At present, he is a senior scientist at the Biophysics Institute of the National Council of Research (CNR) in Pisa, Italy, and an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, University College, College Park, USA. He is a professional orchestral trumpet player.

Dr. Laura Barsanti graduated in natural science from the University of Pisa, Italy. At present, she is a scientist at the Biophysics Institute of the National Council of Research (CNR) in Pisa (Italy).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Marine Biology