Biotechnology may be defined as the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by biological agents to provide goods and services (Bullet al., 1982, p. 21) or as any technique that uses living organisms (or parts of organisms) to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific use (OTC, 1988). In line with these broad definitions we can consider marine biotechnology as the use of marine organisms or their constituents for useful purposes in a controlled fashion. This series will explore a range of scientific advances in support of marine biotechnology. It will provide information on advances in three categories: (1) basic knowledge, (2) ap- plied research and development, and (3) commercial and institutional issues. We hope the presentation of the topics will generate interest and interaction among readers in the academic world, government, and industry. This first volume examines chemical and biological properties of some natural products that are useful or potentially useful in research and in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. One chapter describes a system for producing such substances on a large scale. Biotechnology incorporates molecular biology in order to go beyond tradi- tional biochemical technology such as the production of antibiotic drugs from bacterial cultures in bioreactors. Development of the technology for production of antibiotics in this way resulted from fundamental advances in chemistry, phar- macology, microbiology, and biochemical engineering.