Algae and their Biotechnological Potential

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Algae are important organisms that include seaweeds and a number of single-celled and multicellular microscopic forms. Algae are ubiquitous; they inhabit almost everywhere including oceans, freshwater bodies, rocks, soils, and trees. Man's uses of algae may date back to ancient times. In recent decades, there has been renewed interest in the utilization of algae as sources of health food and high-value chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and for aquaculture, agriculture, and wastewater treatment. Nevertheless, the biotechnological potential of algae is still far from fully exploited, due to a lack of understanding of algal characteristics and culture systems, as well as of advanced research techniques. This book contains selected papers presented at the Fourth Asia-Pacific Conference on Algal Biotechnology held in Hong Kong, on 3-6 July, 2000. Written by experts in the field, this book provides a state-of-the-art account of algal biotechnology research. Topics range from use of algae in agriculture to environmental monitoring and protection, from algal culture systems to production of high-value chemicals and pharmaceuticals by algae, and from algal product purification to gene transformation and regulations. This book is intended for use by researchers and industrialists in the field of algal biotechnology. It will also be an important reference for undergraduate and postgraduate students in biotechnology and food science, as well as in biology in general.