This edited volume on the nematode model Pristionchus pacificus describes an integrative approach to evolutionary biology. It aims for a merger of evolutionary and comparative biology with mechanistic approaches based on genetics and molecular biology.
Insight into the function of biological systems obtained from laboratory studies when complemented with ecology, natural variation and natural history of an organism, can provide detailed knowledge of the proximate and ultimate causations of species.
Ralf J. Sommer developed P. pacificus as model system for integrative evolutionary biology with case studies in evo-devo and population genetics on La Réunion Island. Similarly, ecological interactions with scarab beetles revealed examples for the evolution of novelty at the morphological and behavioural level and their underlying molecular mechanisms.
1. Why Caenorhabditis elegans is great and Pristionchus pacificus might be better Paul W. STERNBERG
2. Integrative evolutionary biology and mechanistic approaches in comparative biology Ralf J. SOMMER
3. Diplogastrid systematics and phylogeny Natsumi KANZAKI and Robin M. GIBLIN-DAVIS
4. Taxonomy and natural history: the genus Pristionchus Erik J. RAGSDALE, Natsumi KANZAKI and Matthias HERRMANN
5. The laboratory model: genetics, genetic mapping and transgenics Laura AURILIO and Jagan SRINIVASAN
6. Comparative and functional genomics Christian RODELSPERGER and Christoph DIETERICH
7. Small molecule signalling: encoding biological information in chemical structures Frank C. SCHROEDER
8. Population genetics and the La Réunion case study Angela MCGAUGHRAN and Katy MORGAN
9. Evo-devo and developmental systems drift: an evolving paradigm in organ formation and tissue coordination, vulva and gonad development in Pristionchus pacificus David RUDEL
10. Dauer formation and dauer-specific behaviours in Pristionchus pacificus Akira OGAWA and Federico BROWN
11. Mouth dimorphism and the evolution of novelty and diversity Erik J. RAGSDALE
12. Pristionchus pacificus olfaction Ray L. HONG
13. Anatomy and connectivity in the pharyngeal nervous system Dan BUMBARGER and Metta RIEBESELL
14. Bacterial interactions and the innate immune system Amit SINHA and Robbie RAE
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Ralf J. Sommer, Ph. D. (1992), LMU Munich, is Director of the Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and Adjunct Professor at Tubingen University. As a trained zoologist, his research aims to integrate various disciplines in evolutionary biology.
- Paul W. Sternberg
- Ralf J. Sommer
- Jagan Srinivasan
- Christian Rödelsperger
- Frank C. Schroeder
- Robin M. Giblin-Davis
- Natsumi Kanzaki
- Matthias Herrmann
- Angela McGaughran
- Katy Morgan
- Akira Ogawa
- Federico D. Brown
- Ray E. Hong
- Robbie Rae
- Amit Sinha
- David Rudel
- Erik J. Ragsdale