Dictionary of Microbiology

Dictionary of Microbiology

Book Reviews 1488 microbiology. It goes on to point out that animal developmental biology is regularly brought together into single books. All that ...

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Book Reviews

1488

microbiology. It goes on to point out that animal developmental biology is regularly brought together into single books. All that is true, but open any book on animal developmental biology and it starts with patterning and tissue specification. What mycologists write about, and unfortunately call morphogenesis, is only cell differentiation. Fascinating, of course, but only a small part of the overall developmental process. Molecular Biology of Fungal Development deserves a place in every library, but it is a mycological book and is unlikely to be shelved under ‘ developmental biology ’. Sadly, developmental biologists will remain ignorant of fungi. It’s a cultural thing. David Moore School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK. Moore, D. (eds) (1998) Fungal Morphogenesis. Cambridge University Press, New York. DOI : 10.1017\S0953756202227148

The text works best if each chapter is read to completion when the meticulous use of worked examples really does facilitate a thorough understanding. There is much here to inform and interest even experienced practicioners. A simple numbering system to reference information sources would be an unobtrusive way of aiding further reading. The presentation and the book’s price will appeal less to an undergraduate generation raised on highly structured textbooks where the ‘ sampling ’ of short sections, brief case histories or examples is encouraged. The final sections covering the genome projects are timely and current but will no doubt require updating for the next edition as the field progresses apace. In conclusion, this is a valuable addition to the literature which I will certainly recommend as a reference source for our final year undergraduates studying fungal genetics. Paul Hooley School of Applied Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV1 1SB, UK.

FUNGAL GENETICS Essential Fungal Genetics. By David Moore & Lilian NovakFrazer. 2002. Springer Verlag, Berlin. Pp. xi j357. ISBN 0 387 95367 1. Price l 79.95, £56. The authors set out to produce a concise but complete description of the genetics of fungi in a text that is neither a formal academic review nor a laboratory manual. The text aims to explain and explore the concepts behind various techniques and so introduce methods that are distinct from those used in animals and plants. Ten authoritative chapters lead the reader from a thorough exploration of the reasons for studying fungal genomes through classical approaches to mutagenesis, linkage maps, and methods of recombination to the value of modern applications in physical mapping and the genetics of development. Numerous interesting examples range well beyond the normal model species used in standard texts. Each chapter begins with a list of revision concepts and concludes with reading lists of publications and web sites which include papers of historical value to the development of the chapter’s themes. The authors have undoubtedly succeeded in their main aim of producing a readable yet challenging text which will appeal to keen undergraduates and their teachers alike. In particular, the inclusion of both classical and molecular techniques together makes for a satisfying read. Each chapter is organized logically and carefullyleads the reader through, at times, complex ideas. I found the figures and tables particularly useful though their application is at times uneven. For example, attempting to describe techniques such as DNA sequencing, RAPD’s, and chromosome walking or principles such as the molecular nature of mutation without extensive visual illustrations makes great demands on the reader. This style may deter an audience unfamiliar with such methods and ideas. Although the authors did not intend to produce a monographic textbook the inclusion of revision notes does suggest a target group of undergraduates. However, the revision notes are too numerous (including a continuous list of 42 bullet points in one case) and would be clearer if organized into an hierarchy or subdivided into boxed summary sections closer to the relevant text. There is a complete and useful index which perhaps should be supplemented with a glossary of mycological and genetical terms which are not always easy to glean directly from the text.

DOI : 10.1017\S0953756202237144

DICTIONARY OF MICROBIOLOGY Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology. By Paul Singleton & Diana Sainsbury. 2001. 3rd edn. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK. Pp. xij895. ISBN 0 471 94150 6 (hardcover), ISBN 0 471 49064 4 (paperback). Price US $150 (hardback), $70 (paperback). I was intrigued to see how much attention fungi would receive in a dictionary with such a title as there are around 18 times as many fungi as bacteria known (72 K vs 4 K). The result was disappointing, but not as bad as I had feared. While numerous bacterial genera, including some synonyms, have entries, the selection of fungal genera has been less comprehensive. Many plant pathogens are covered, as are a few lichenized genera and others of economic or biochemical interest. However, when the decision to include had been made, the entries given are often as extensive as in the edition of Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi (Kirk et al. 2001) that came out the same year but include more factual information and fewer references. For example, Xanthoria merits 13 lines here and 14 in Ainsworth & Bisby. Sadly, the fungal entries are not always up to date and can now be misleading, as in the treatment of Dutch elm disease as Ceratocystis ulmi while the last pandemic was due to Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. Some of the sources cited have also been superseded, for instance only the 1983 and 1984 editions of Ainsworth & Bisby and The Yeasts, respectively, are cited. Entries for algae and protozoa appear to also receive comparative short shrift. The main value of this dictionary for the mycologist is the coverage of secondary metabolites, and biochemical and molecular biological terms and concepts. These are generally much more up-to-date than the organismal entries, with citations of literature only a few years old, and are often treated at length and with clear line diagrams. For example, ‘ PCR ’ receives three pages, and ‘ transposable element ’ almost a full page of text and a fullpage diagram with an extensive legend. Further, at the end of the book there are 30 pages of biochemical pathways. In summary, a most valuable adjunct to Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictrionary of the Fungi, which would have benefited from more mycological input ; perhaps this could be borne in mind for the fourth edition.