This handbook acquaints readers with the exciting developments in various areas of cyanobacterial research in the backdrop of the publication of complete genome sequence of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 in 1996. It begins with a summary of the current knowledge on the taxonomy, phylogeny and evolution of cyanobacteria followed by the sequenced genomes, differentiation of akinetes and heterocyst. The book considers mechanisms of cellular movements (gliding, swimming and twitching motions) exhibited by various cyanobacteria in order to adjust to their environmental niches and the operation of the circadian rhythms. It covers cyanobacterial symbiosis, cyanophages and cyanobacterial toxins, followed by a discussion on stress responses (salinity, temperature, desiccation and oxidation).
A comprehensive account on the developments in all these spheres has been presented in a lucid style with the required background information, molecular techniques employed and models proposed. This handbook constitutes the first such book written by a single author at a level and depth for graduate and research students in botany and microbiology.
Table of Contents
TAXONOMY, PHYLOGENY AND EVOLUTION
Taxonomy. Phylogeny. Evolution of Bacteria and Cyanobacteria. The other side of the coin.
Methods. Genomes Sequenced. Categories of Genes. Phylogenomics.
Akinete differentiation. Factors affecting Akinete differentiation. Akinete germination. Akinete Germination in relation to bloom development.
Morphology. Ultrastructure. Biochemical composition. Permeability to gases. Respiratory activity. Cyanophycin. Development. Mutants defective in heterocyst development and nitrogen fixation. Genes essential during development. Signalling molecules. Cell division. Pattern formation. Genes regulating the pattern. Nitrogen fixation. Other functions.
Types of movements. Phototaxis.
Early studies. Choice of experimental organism. Circadian clock. Input pathways. Output pathways. Kai genes in other cyanobacteria. Origin and evolution of Kai genes.
Sponges. Echiuroid worms. Corals. Ascidians. Algae. Fungi. Bryophytes. Azolla. Cycads. Gunnera. Phylogeny of Nostoc strains across all symbioses.
Nomenclature and classification. Freshwater cyanomyoviruses. Freshwater cyanosiphoviruses. Freshwater cyanopodoviruses. Cyanophages of uncertain identity. Stability. Adsorption. Phage development. Role of freshwater cyanophages in the control of cyanobacterial blooms. Mutational studies on freshwater cyanophages. Marine cyanophages. Lysogeny. Role of cyanophages in marine ecosystem.
Hepatotoxins. Neurotoxins. Dermatotoxins. Cyanobacterial lipopolysaccharides. Other miscellaneous toxins. Detection and analysis. Occurrence of harmful algal blooms. Methods of cyanobacterial toxin removal. Guidelines for safer limits. Protocols for water treatment.
Salt stress. Temperature stress. Oxidative stress. Desiccation.