Plastids are the sites of conversion of solar energy into the chemical energy usable to sustain life. They are also responsible for the production of the vast majority of the oxygen in the atmosphere. Through these activities they play a unique role in the biosphere, producing two critical products upon which life on Earth depends. It covers in 21 chapters nearly all actively investigated areas of plastid biology, from biosynthesis to function to their uses in biotechnology. The editors have compiled an extensive list of international experts from whom to solicit chapters. As is evident from the suggested Table of Contents, the book will start with a discussion of genetic material and its expression, followed by differentiation and development of different plastid types and internal organization. This is followed by an in depth look at biogenesis and assembly of plastid proteins and protein complexes and then by the important metabolic functions in plastids. The book will end with two chapters discussing the role of plastid biology in protein expression biotechnology and in hydrogen and biofuel production.