'Developmental biology' is widely understood as processes, which mainly concern embryonic animal development and differentiation of cells and tissue. It is also often defined as the timeline for the evolutionary developmental biology of eukaryotic multicellular higher organisms, i.e., plants and animals. The development of prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes in constrast has been neglected for a long time, which was the motivation for publishing this book.
This book highlights one of Darwin's most important findings: Evolution is a creative, but not a conscious process. It also illustrates that this concept does not only apply to multicellular higher organisms but affects every form of life.
The reader shall find complex biochemical and genetic pathways of bacteria, yeasts or protozoa, comparable to those exhibited by plants or animals. The molecular mechanisms of dramatic genome rearrangements, recombination and horizontal gene transfer that are responsible for evolutionary adaptations are discussed. Additionally, the book covers bacteria of the genera Myxobacteriales and Caulobacterales, which are able to develop tissue-like cellular organization. The morphogenesis of entomopathogenic fungi and the endosymbiont theory are also addressed.
The book is a useful introduction to the field for junior scientists, interested in bacteriology, protistology and fungal development. It is also an interesting read for advanced scientists, giving them a broader view of the field beyond their area of specialization.
Professor Tomas G. Villa graduated from Salamanca University (Spain), where he also obtained his PhD in 1976. Subsequently, he moved to the University of California at Davis. After several years of conducting research on Yeast Biochemistry and Taxonomy integrated into Professor Herman Jan Phaff´s research group, Prof. T.G. Villa acquired an Assistant Professorship in Microbiology at the Faculty of Pharmacy-University of Salamanca in 1980. In January 1983, Dr Villa obtained a Full Professorship in Microbiology in the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Santiago de Compostela. Since then, he has been conducting research and teaching Microbiology and Biotechnology in this position. He has published many original papers on Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology, as well as several books, and has supervised 25 PhD students.
Professor Trinidad de Miguel Bouzas graduated as a Pharmacist at the University of Santiago de Compostela, where she also obtained her PhD degree in 2000 under the supervision of Prof. Tomas G. Villa. She has published many original papers, book chapters and teaching materials in the fields of Bacterial Taxonomy, Biochemistry and Biotechnology. After several years as a postdoctoral fellow under the leadership of Prof. Wolfgang Wohlleben (University of Tübingen, Germany), she returned to her former group and obtained a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela, where she teaches General Microbiology, Food Microbiology and Biotechnology. Her current projects involve interdisciplinary research in the field of new antimicrobials of natural and synthetic origins and the design of new dosage forms for clinical use.