modern geneticsby francisco j. ayala; john a. kiger,

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  • Modern Genetics by Francisco J. Ayala; John A. Kiger,Review by: Marie Nadda KonalovFolia Geobotanica & Phytotaxonomica, Vol. 16, No. 4 (1981), pp. 441-442Published by: SpringerStable URL: .Accessed: 14/06/2014 22:25

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  • Bookreviews

    P. PESSON (red.)


    In: Formation permanente en ecologie et biologie pour ingenieurs, cadres, chercheurs et enseig- nants, 382 p., ed. Gauthier-Villars, Paris 1978, nouveau tirage.

    Das besprochene Buch enthalt 22 Artikel internationaler Spezialisten veschiedener 6kologischer Disziplinen. Er handelt sich um Vorlesungen, die im Nationalen Agronomischen Institut (Institut National Agronomique) in Paris vorgetragen wurden.

    Das Buch ist in vier Teile gegliedert, die Waldklima, Waldboden, Waldbaume und -tiere behandeln.

    Im ersten Teil bringt J. PARDE Resultate der mikroklimatischen Forschungen in einem tem- peraten Wald. P. CACHAN berichtet uiber Mikroklima eines tropischen Waldes in Bezug auf die vertikale Repartition verschiedener Arten von xylophagen Insekten. N. DECOURT analysiert einige Wald- und Baumfunktionen unter Stadtumweltverhaltnissen in Bezug auf Luftverunreini- gung. J. CLAUZURE analysiert am Beispiel des Pariser Gebietes Probleme der Waldwirtschaft im Stadtbereich.

    Die folgenden vier Arbeiten sind den Beziehungen zwischen Boden und Waldvegetation gewidmet. Resultate einer originalen Studie uiber bio-geochemischen Zyklus im Pinus halepen- sis-Bestand werden von M. RAPP vorgelegt. Zwei folgende Beitrage von M. BONNEAU sind der Waldbodendiingung und dem Einfluss von physikalischen und chemischen Bodeneigenschaften auf den Waldbodenwert gewidmet. Als letzter gehort zu dieser Gruppe der Beitrag von P. DUCHA- FouR tiber Waldboden-Klimax.

    Der dritte Abschnitt dieses Buches enthialt Beitrage tiber Okologie der Waldbaume. G. LEMIEE fasst Kenntnisse fiber die primdre Produktion des Waldes zusammen. P. BOUVAREL untersucht die okologische Adaptation von Waldbaumen und ihre Verwendung fur die Selektion. M. BOTUL- LARD beschaftigt sich mit der Problematik von Mykorrhize in der Waldokologie.

    Die zweite Hailfte des Buches ist Arbeiten fiber Okologie der Waldfauna gewidmet. Hier geho- ren z. B. Beitrdge fiber den osmotischen Druck von Waldbaiumen in Bezug auf das Vorkommen xylophager Insekte, fiber die Rolle xylophager Insekten auf die Zersetzung des toten Holzes, fiber Faktoren der Repartition der Avifauna in einem montanen Wald, fiber den Einfluss der Bewirt- schaftung des Waldes auf Vogel u. a.

    Das Buch ist nicht nur den Forstingenieuren und Forstpraktiken, sondern auch den Okolo- gen-Forschern und Studenten bestimmt. Man findet in diesem Werk Antworte an wichtige Fragen betreffend die Waldklimatologie, Bodenkunde und die Walddkologie uiberhaupt.

    Zdenka Neuhituslova



    The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc., Menlo Park, California - Reading, Massachusetts, London, Amsterdam, Don Mills, Ontario and Sydney, 844 pp., 452 Figs.

    To prepare a good textbook is never an easy task. It is especially difficult in the biological disciplines which have undergone a tremendous evolution over the last decades. Among them

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    genetics is the most rapidly advancing science. Nevertheless F. J. AYALA and J. A. KIGER, Jr., both experienced university teachers, have succeeded in preparing a basic genetic text, which is logically built, clearly written, and gives not only rigorous, but also up-to-date concepts of this science.

    "Modern Genetics" comprises a balanced coverage of the subject. The clarity of the text is enhanced by many instructive illustrations, whether drawings, schemes, diagrams, or photo- graphs and tables, which are all the nondiving part of the text. Twenty two different topics are spread through the book as "boxes", completing some special problems. At the end of each chapter testing problems are presented, whose solution proves that the text has been understand. For those who have not taken a course in statistics the basic concepts and probability methods are given in an appendix. Basic geneticalterms are summarized in a glossary. References document- ing the material covered in the text are included in the bibliography.

    In the introductury chapter the basic characteristics of the various kinds of organisms are reviewed and the genetic significance of cell division is repeated.

    The book is well organized according to three fundamental features of the genetic material, DNA: transmission, expression, and change, to which the three main parts of the book correspond. The first part (I.) of the book deals with the organization and replication of the genetic materials. It starts with Mendelian genetics (1) and through laws by which the hereditary information is transmitted from generation to generation the basic ideas of classical genetics are presented (2). The parallel behaviour of the genes and the chromosomes led to the chromosome theory of heredity, which is described together with sex-linked heredity in the next chapter (3). How the study of microorgatisms led to the chemical identification of the genetic material and to deduction of its physical structure and properties is explained very instructively in chapter 4. The character. Iatic features of the eucaryotic (5), the viral (6), and the bacterial (7) genomes including genetic, cytological, and physical mappings are explained in the following chapters. The most revolutionary discovery in genetics which led to the concept of the gene as a sequence of nucleotide pairs in a DNA molecule is dealt with in the chapter (8): The Fine Structure of the Gene. With the description of DNA repair, replication, and recombination (9) the first part of the book closes.

    Part II. "Expression of the genetic materials" explains how the development and activities of the organism are directed by its inherited genetic information. A set of "instructions" trans- mitted from parents to offspring is coded in DNA. The information transfer from DNA via RNAs to polypeptide synthesis (The Central Dogma) as well as the structure of protein are described in chapters (10) and (11). The problems of the genetic code relating nucleotide sequences to amino- acid sequences are presented in chapter (12). Regulation of gene expression in Prokaryotes (13) and Eukaryotes (14) are briefly discussed. Genetics of quantitative characters expressed in continuous variation are explained together with basic problems of genetic and environmental variations, in the last chapter of this part (15).

    Part III. "Evolution of the Genetic Materials" answers the question of how the genetic variation originated and what the basis of biological evolution is. The main reason is the ability of DNA to change from generation to generation [Gene (16) and Chromosomal (17) Mutations]. Genetic variation in populations, together with problems of measuring and quantifying are then explained (18). This chapter and the last one (22) dealing with evolutionary genetics are probably treated in greater depth than in most introductory texts, but the very clear and thorough explanation of these problems make these parts interesting and attractive. The last three chapters but one: Processes of Evolutionary Change (19), Natural Selection (20), and Inbreeding, Coadapta- tion, and Geographic Differentiation (21) are dedicated to the processes by which allelic and genotypic frequencies change: mutation, migration, drift, selection, and assortative mating. These problems are also studied by taxonomists, but from a rather different point of view. This book can help them to find in an accessible way a common language with geneticists. WVe can strongly recommend this book to all those, especially from the middle and older generations, who want to renew their basic knowledge of genetics and also to complete it by many substantial new discoveries.


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    Article Contentsp. [441]p. 442

    Issue Table of ContentsFolia Geobotanica & Phytotaxonomica, Vol. 16, No. 4 (1981), pp. 337-448+I-XVVolume Information [pp. I-XV]Front MatterFolia Geobotanica et Phytotaxonomica: 15 Years [pp. 337-346]Die Ruderalvegetation des nrdlichen Teils der Donau-Tiefebene 2. Gesellschaften des Dauco-Melilotion-Verbandes auf ruderale


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