Special Issue "Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2014).
Interests: cellular differentiation in filamentous cyanobacteria; nitrogen fixation; transcription regulation in cyanobacteria; toxins; genetics
Interests: biology of cyanobacteria; especially cellular differentiation; genome analyses; gliding motility; microbial physiology; nitrogen fixation; photosensors; symbiosis
As oxygen-producing photoautotrophs, cyanobacteria have been, and continue to be, one of the most influential groups of micro-organisms on earth. They are an ancient lineage, with a fossil record dating to at least 3 billion years ago and were singularly responsible for the initial oxygenation of the biosphere. Cyanobacteria are the most nutritionally independent organisms on earth, requiring only light, water, CO2 and a few inorganic molecules or elements for growth; some can fix nitrogen. They areubiquitous in the illuminated portions of the terrestrial and aquatic biosphere, including deep oceanic, hypersaline, geothermal, desert and polar habitats, as well as being endolithic and endophytic. Cyanobacteria display diverse cellular and colonial morphologies, cellular developmental alternatives, types of secondary metabolites, some of which are toxic to metazoans, and behaviors, such as chromatic adaptation, reversible desiccation and genetic adaptation to environmental changes. Molecular genetic evidence is consistent with a common cyanobacterial ancestor giving rise to the chloroplasts of eukaryotic algae and plants. Processes and pathways expressed by extant cyanobacteria, such as circadian rhythms, phytochrome signaling and cellulose synthesis, amongst others, are likely to have entered the plant world via that ancient endosymbiotic event. Many cyanobacteria are amenable to genetic manipulation; therefore, they are excellent experimental systems for studies of photosynthetic and nitrogen metabolism, regulation of the differentiation of specialized cells, cell-cell communication and environmental signal transduction. The genomes of more than 190 cyanobacteria have been sequenced to date and genomic based analyses are being applied to document their changing transcriptome, proteome and metabalome. In this special issue, advanceswill be presented in understanding the ecology, physiology and genetics of cyanobacteria, using classic and molecular genetic approaches that will ultimately aid inmanipulation of selected organisms for biotechnological applications in bioremediation, biofuel and pharmaceutical production.
Prof. Dr. Robert Haselkorn
Prof. Dr. John C. Meeks
Manuscript Submission Information
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- oxygenic photosynthesis
- nitrogen fixation
- primary C and N production
- circadian rhythm
- toxins and blooms
- signal transduction
- community structure
- cellular communication
- cellular differentiation