Lipids and Biomembranes of Eukaryotic Microorganisms synthesizes the state of knowledge for eukaryotic microorganisms and relates this knowledge to microbial membranes. This book examines each of the major classes of lipids-sterols, fatty acids, phospholipids, and sulfolipids-separately. In each case an attempt has been made to provide a comprehensive summary and to evaluate critically the literature on the occurrence and biosynthesis of these compounds in yeasts, fungi, algae, and protozoa. Physiological functions of these lipids, particularly their role in the membranes of the organisms, are described. In some cases attention has been called to the possible usefulness of lipids as taxonomic criteria. Experimental systems for studying the relation between the structure of lipids and their function in biomembranes are also discussed. These systems include the photosynthetic membranes in organisms such as Euglena, Chlorella, and Chlamydomonas in which the formation of the chloroplasts is susceptible to experimental control; and fatty acid auxotrophic mutants of yeasts and Neurospora in which the fatty acid composition of the membrane lipids can be altered by the experimenter. This book will be of use to lipid biochemists, microbial physiologists, taxonomists, and cell biologists who are interested in the molecular aspects of biomembranes.