Plastids reside in all plant cells, and take on different forms in relation to their cellular function, biochemistry and storage capacity. The modern era of molecular biology and molecular genetics has enabled much to be learnt about how plastids function, and how they relate to their evolutionary past. In this accessible text, Kevin Pyke expertly describes how the plastids are highly complex organelles at the very core of plant cellular function, providing final year undergraduate and graduate students with an overview of plastid biology and recent developments in the field. Topics covered include: a consideration of different plastid types and how they relate to cell function; plastid genomes and how proteins are imported into plastids; photosynthesis and core aspects of plastid biochemistry; plastid signalling and functionality within a cellular context; and plastid genetic manipulation. Supplementary colour images are available online at www.cambridge.org/9780521885010.