Books  Animal & General Biology  Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 

Dictyostelium: Evolution, Cell Biology and the Development of Multicellularity

Out of Print

Series: Developmental and Cell Biology Series

By: R Kessin

294 pages, Col plates, bw plates, figs, tabs

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jan 2001 | #126970 | ISBN: 0521583640
Out of Print Details

About this book

The Dictyostelia are soil amoebae capable of extraordinary feats of survival, motility, chemotaxis, and development. Known as the "social amoebae," these organisms have been the subjects of serious study since the 1930s. Research in this area has been instrumental in shaping general views of differentiation, morphogenesis, and communication. Beginning with the history of Dictyostelids, this book considers the problems of the evolution of this multicellular organism. Characterized by its ability to transform from a single-celled organism into an elaborate assemblage of thousands of synchronously-moving cells, each stage of its development is treated in a separate chapter. The special properties of the Dictyostelid genome are rigorously analyzed, and the methods available to manipulate genes are presented in detail. Research techniques that enable many cell biology problems to be approached in studying the organism are also presented. Throughout, the emphasis is on combining classical experiments with modern molecular findings.

'... a beautiful balance between the well understood and the relatively unexplored ... it offers so much in such a tiny volume. I thoroughly recommend it.' P. R. Fisher, Soil Biology and Biochemistry '... a major achievement and will serve the field well for several years to come.' Jeffrey Williams, Trends in Genetics '... an excellent and up-to-date summary of how social amoebae do it, and is bristling with fascinating biological answers and questions.' John A. Lee, Geologist 'This book is an excellent and up-to-date summary of how social amoebae do it, and is bristling with fascinating biological answers and questions.' Biologist '... well organized and superbly presented ... easy to read and very accessible to the newcomer to the field ... the time is certainly right for a book to introduce this organism and its research to a wider audience. This is the ideal book.' Peter A. Thomason, Nature Cell Biology 'This will be the key reference work on this fascinating genus for decades, and a 'must' not only for developmental biologists but also the many mycologists who continue to dabble in and be fascinated by slime moulds.' Mycol. Research


Preface; 1. A brief introduction to Dictyostelium discoideum and its relatives; 2. A history of research on Dictyostelium discoideum; 3. The evolutionary biology of Dictyostelium; 4. The genome and genetics; 5. Membranes and organelles of Dictyostelium; 6. Cell motility and the cytoskeleton; 7. The transition from growth to development: from starvation to self sustaining cAMP signal relay; 8. Chemotaxis and aggregation; 9. Differentiation and adhesion in the aggregate; 10. Behavior of cells in the slug; 11. Culmination; 12. Formation and germination of spores; 13. Resources.

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