Plant Lipids: Biology, Utilisation and Manipulation

New research tools have revealed many surprising aspects of the dynamic nature of lipids and their participation in processes such as recognition, intra- and inter-cellular signalling, deterrence and defense against pathogens, membrane trafficking and protein function. This is in addition to new information on the more established roles of plant lipids as structural components of membranes and as long-term storage products. Plant lipids are also increasingly being seen as sources of a new generation of environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and renewable industrial products, including biopolymers and high-grade lubricants. Plant Lipids: Biology, Utilisation and Manipulation provides a broad overview of plant lipid research and its many applications. Linking various disciplines, the editor brings together researchers from major international laboratories to review the history and current state of progress in this quickly evolving field. The text starts by providing a fascinating historical perspective on the study of plant lipids, from its inception as a branch of alchemy in the seventeenth century to the current post-genomic era. It then offers a detailed discussion on the formation, modification and utilization of fatty acids. This is followed by an exploration of the major classes of macromolecular structures formed by plant lipids, including bilayer membranes and storage bodies. From there, the contributors consider other types of macromolecular lipid assemblies in plants, examining proteins and the key plant lipid structure - the cuticle. The final chapters look at diverse classes of plant lipids that are linked to various aspects of signaling. This text provides an excellent resource for researchers and professionals in plant biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology and genetics, in both the academic and industrial sectors. It also meets the needs of students looking for a comprehensive introduction to this field, as well as direction for future study and research.