Acting as titans in global control of the biosphere and colonizing virtually all corners of the earth, algae, extremely diverse and numerous oxygenic, photosynthetic organisms, can be major players in and drivers of environmental change. For hundreds of years, since their evolutionary origins by endosymbiosis, when a protozoan enslaved a cyanobacterium, fascinated scientists strove to uncover the mysteries of their diversity, interactions, taxonomy, and classification. Today, new molecular tools and technologies like chromatography and genetic fingerprinting reveal the innermost secrets of algal ancestry and phylogeny and open new possibilities to answering age-old questions.
Unravelling the algae: the past, present, and future of algal systematics brings together the most respected minds in the field to review the state-of-the-science and assess the impact of molecular tools on the taxonomy of algal groups. Emphasizing that a range of traditional and molecular approaches are required, along with other techniques such as transmission electron microscopy, to support full interpretation of the data, the book discusses the extent to which these tools broaden our understanding of the immense diversity of algae and revolutionize ideas of taxonomy and classification. Divided into three parts, the book introduces the very latest ideas on the evolution of algae and the concept of classification and illustrates contrasting viewpoints. The second section addresses systematics and covers virtually all algal groups ranging from microalgae to ultraplankton with individual chapters devoted to each. The final section explores the impact of genomics on algal systematics and concludes with a discussion of future directions for research.
As the most up-to-date, authoritative source for classifying algae, this bookprovides unparalleled access to the encyclopedic information revealed by the use of the latest in molecular tools.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION AND OPINIONS, Introduction, Algae in the warp and weave of life: bound by plastids, Evolution and relationships of algae: major branches of the tree of life,
Classification and diatom systematics: the past, the present and the future, SYSTEMATICS OF THE ALGAE, The taxonomy of cyanobacteria: molecular insights into a difficult problem, Molecular systematics of red algae: building future structures on firm foundations, Systematics of the green algae: conflict of classic and modern approaches, In the shadow of giants: systematics of the charophyte green algae, The chlorarachniophytes: evolution and classification, Molecular systematics of Haptophyta, Decrypting cryptomonads: a challenge for molecular taxonomy, On dinoflagellate phylogeny and classification, Molecular genetics and the neglected art of diatomics, Classification of the Phaeophyceae from past to present and current challenges, Molecular systematics of the Chrysophyceae and Synurophyceae, A decade of euglenoid molecular phylogenetics, THE FUTURE, The contribution of genomics to the understanding of algal evolution, Algal molecular systematics: A review of the past and prospects for the future, Glossary
Juliet Brodie, Jane Lewis