Cyanobacteria and Earth history / Andrew H. Knoll -- Insights into cyanobacterial evolution from comparative genomics / Wesley D. Swingley, Robert E. Blankenship, and Jason Raymond -- Gene transfer to cyanobacteria in the laboratory and in nature / Enrique Flores, Alicia M. Muro-Pastor, and John C. Meeks -- Molecular ecology and environmental genomics of cyanobacteria / Ferran Garcia-Pichel -- Comparative genomics of marine cyanobacteria and their phages / Wolfgang R. Hess -- Stress responses in Synechocystis : regulated genes and regulatory systems / Dmitry A. Los ... [et al.] -- Bioactive compounds produced by cyanobacteria / Kaarina Sivonen and Thomas Bèorner -- The cyanobacterial circadian clock and the KaiC phosphorylation cycle / Kazuki Terauchi and Takao Kondo -- Molecular structure of the photosynthetic apparatus / Yanina Sarah DeRuyter and Petra Fromme -- Membrane systems in cyanobacteria / Michell Liberton and Himadri B. Pakrasi -- Biogenesis and dynamics of thylakoid membranes and the photosynthetic apparatus / Conrad W. Mullineaux -- Carbon acquisition by cyanobacteria : mechanisms, comparative genomics, and evolution / Aaron Kaplan ... [et al.] -- Nitrogen assimilation and C/N balance sensing / Ignacio Luque and Karl Forchhammer -- Transcriptional and developmental responses by Anabaena to deprivation of fixed nitrogen / Xudong Xu, Jeff Elhai, and C. Peter Wolk -- Cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation in the ocean : diversity, regulation, and ecology / Lucas J. Stal and Jonathan P. Zehr -- Cyanobacterial-plant symbioses : signaling and development / Birgitta Bergman, Liang Ran, and David G. Adams. Cyanobacteria are a fascinating and versatile group of bacteria of immense biological importance. Thought to be amongst the first organisms to colonize the earth, these bacteria are the photosynthetic ancestors of chloroplasts in eukaryotes such as plants and algae. In addition they can fix nitrogen, survive in very hostile environments (e.g. down to -60ÀC), are symbiotic, have circadian rhythms, exhibit gliding mobility, and can differentiate into specialized cell types called heterocysts. This makes them ideal model systems for studying fundamental processes such as nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis. In addition cyanobacteria produce an array of bioactive compounds, some of which could become novel antimicrobial agents, anti-cancer drugs, UV protectants etc. The amazing versatility of cyanobacteria has attracted huge scientific interest in recent years. Given that 24 genomes sequences have been completed and many more projects are currently underway, the point has been reached where there is an urgent need to summarise and review the current molecular biology, genomics, and evolution of these important organisms. This volume brings together the expertise and enthusiasm of an international panel of leading cyanobacterial researchers to provide a state-of-the art overview of the field. Topics covered include: evolution, comparative genomics, gene transfer, molecular ecology and environmental genomics, stress responses, bioactive compounds, circadian clock, structure of the photosynthetic apparatus, membrane systems, carbon acquisition, nitrogen assimilation and C/N balance sensing and much more. Essential for anyone with an interest in cyanobacteria, bacterial photosynthesis, bacterial nitrogen fixation, and symbosis.