Ecological biochemistry refers to the interaction of organisms with their abiotic environment and other organisms by chemical means. Biotic and abiotic factors determine the biochemical flexibility of organisms, which otherwise easily adapt to environmental changes by altering their metabolism. Sessile plants, in particular, have evolved intricate biochemical response mechanisms to fit into a changing environment. This book covers the chemistry behind these interactions, bottom up from the atomic to the system's level.
An introductory part explains the physico-chemical basis and biochemical roots of living cells, leading to secondary metabolites as crucial bridges between organisms and the respective ecosystem. The focus then shifts to the biochemical interactions of plants, fungi and bacteria within terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with the aim of linking biochemical insights to ecological research, also in human-influenced habitats.
A section is devoted to methodology, which allows network-based analyses of molecular processes underlying systems phenomena.
A companion website offering an extended version of the introductory chapter on Basic Biochemical Roots is available at
Plants are the source of important industrial raw material such as fat and starch but they are also the basis for the production of pharmaceutics. It is expected that in the future, gene technology will lead to the extensive use of plants as a means of producing sustainable raw material for industrial purposes. As such, the techniques and use of genetic engineering to improve crop plants and to provide sustainable raw materials for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are described in this edition. The latest research findings have been included, and areas of future research are identified.Offers the latest research findings in a concise and understandable manner.
Presents plant metabolism in the context of the structure and the function of plants.
Includes more than 300 two-color diagrams and metabolic schemes.
Covers the various commercial applications of plant biochemistry.
Provides extensive references to the recent scientific literature.