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Reproduction is a fundamental feature of life, it is the way life persists across the ages. The Biology of Reproduction offers new, wider vistas on this fundamental biological phenomenon, exploring how it works through the whole tree of life. It explores facets such as asexual reproduction, parthenogenesis, sex determination and reproductive investment, with a taxonomic coverage extended over all the main groups – animals, plants including 'algae', fungi, protists and bacteria. It collates into one volume perspectives from varied disciplines – including zoology, botany, microbiology, genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, animal and plant physiology, and ethology – integrating information into a common language. Crucially, The Biology of Reproduction aims to identify the commonalties among reproductive phenomena, while demonstrating the diversity even amongst closely related taxa. Its integrated approach makes this a valuable reference book for students and researchers, as well as an effective entry point for deeper study on specific topics.
1. Introductory concepts
2. Reproduction and life cycle
3. The natural history of reproduction
4. Parental investment
5. Genetics and cytogenetics of reproduction
6. Determination of sex and mating type
7. Reproduction – a taxonomic survey
Appendix – a classification of living organisms
Index to taxa
Giuseppe Fusco is Associate Professor of Zoology at the Department of Biology at the University of Padova, Italy. He is a researcher in evolutionary biology and has edited three volumes in this field.
Alessandro Minelli is a former Full Professor of Zoology and, in retirement, an affiliated senior scientist at the University of Padova, Italy. He has served as vice-president of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology and as specialty editor-in-chief for evolutionary developmental biology of Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. He is author of several books in evolutionary biology.
"Fusco's and Minelli's The Biology of Reproduction is impressive in scope. Rather than adopting a more restricted perspective on reproduction – be it on reproduction in mammals, animals, or plants – this book provides a comprehensive overview of the various similarities and variations of this central biological phenomenon across the whole tree of life. In an easily accessible style and exemplified through a wide range of illustrations, it offers the reader a great stepping stone to more in-depth comparative studies. Its greatest strengths are twofold. First, through its impressive taxonomic coverage it directly counteracts longstanding biases in our understanding of reproduction imposed through the selective use of a few model organisms. Second, the authors nicely link empirical findings with conceptual discussions on biological individuality and the boundaries between reproduction and development. Thus, this book is of use not only for biology students and professors but also for philosophers of biology. Highly recommended."
– Jan Baedke, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany