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C. elegans II

(Cold Spring Harbor Monograph Series 33)

Book Series:  Cold Spring Harbor Monograph Series
Subject Area(s):  Developmental BiologyCaenorhabditis elegans

Edited by Donald L. Riddle, University of Missouri, Columbia; Thomas Blumenthal, Indiana University; Barbara J. Meyer, University of California, Berkeley; James R. Priess, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle

© 1997 • 1222 pp., illus., color plates, index
Paper • $75 • ISBN  978-087969532-3


Studies of the cells and genes of the nematode C. elegans have become a cornerstone of current biology. A classic 1988 Cold Spring Harbor monograph, The Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, described the basic genetics, anatomy and development of the organism. Now, in that authoritative tradition, comes C. elegans II -- not a second edition but a book that breaks new ground and defines the current status of the field, providing a detailed molecular explanation of how development is regulated and the nervous system specifies varied aspects of behavior. This volume is a must for any investigator doing worm studies but it has been written and rigorously edited to illuminate for a wider community of investigators in cell and molecular biology who should know how new knowledge of C. elegans relates to their own specialty.



review:  "C. elegans II is not a second edition. The chapters are more focused and comprehensive than those found in its predecessor (the 1988 monograph, The Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans). Also, such is the growth of the field that many of the topics originally covered by single chapters are here subdivided into several chapters. For example, the material in the single chapter ‘The Nervous System’ in the worm book occupies six chapters in C. elegans II. Many new chapters have been included which deal with topics that were accorded only a few lines in the original, such as lifespan and ageing, nematode evolution and the relationship of C. elegans to parasitic nematodes. I was impressed with the breadth of material covered and the way this was achieved without sacrificing attention to detail….

Who should read C. elegans II? Anyone who works in the field will find it invaluable as a single concise source of information. For the same reasons anyone teaching cell biology from an organismal perspective should find it very useful…. As with all model systems, a great deal of what is learned from C. elegans is likely to be applicable to other organisms. Therefore, anyone with an interest in cell and developmental biology, regardless of their area of specialisation, would benefit from reading C. elegans II."
      —Trends in Cell Biology

review:  "The new book is about double the size of its predecessor, but its 30 review chapters are manageable chunks, averaging less than 30 pages. Overall, the level of discussion is authoritative yet suitable for those new to the field. Every chapter refers to related discussions in other chapters and avoids unncessary overlap — a sign of strong editorial control….

‘Worm II’ is excellent. It makes one eager for ‘Worm III’."

review:  "…the book is a must for any C. elegans researcher, and probably should find a place in any biology department library as a reference for students and staff."
      —Trends in Genetics

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Preface (B. Alberts)

Foreword (S. Brenner)

Introduction to C. elegans (D.L. Riddle, T. Blumenthal, B.J. Meyer, J.R. Priess);

The Genome (R.H. Waterston, J.E. Sulston, A.R. Coulson); Chromosome Organization, Mitosis, and Meiosis (D.G. Albertson, A.M. Rose, A.M. Villeneuve); Mutation (R.C. Johnsen, D.L. Baillie); Transposons (R.H.A. Plasterk, H.G.A.M. van Luenen); RNA Processing and Gene Structure (T. Blumenthal, K. Steward); Transcription Factors and Transcriptional Regulation (J.D. McGhee, M.W. Krause); mRNA and Translation (P. Anderson, J. Kimble); Sex Determination and X Chromosome Dosage Compensation (B.J. Meyer); Developmental Genetics of the Germ Line (T. Schedl); Spermatogenesis (S.W. L'Hernault); Male Development and Mating Behavior (S.W. Emmons, P.W. Sternberg); Fertilization and Establishment of Polarity in the Embryo (K.J. Kemphues, S. Strome); Specification of Cell Fates in the Early Embryo (R. Schnabel, J.R. Priess); Cell Death (M.O. Hengartner); Muscle: Structure, Function, and Development (D.G. Moerman, A. Fire); Extracellular Matrix (J.M. Kramer); Heterochronic Genes (V. Ambros); Development of the Vulva (I. Greenwald); Patterning the Nervous System (G. Ruvkun); Cell and Growth Cone Migrations (A. Antebi, C.R. Norris, E.M. Hedgecock, G. Garriga); Synaptic Transmission (J.B. Rand, M.L. Nonet); Mechanotransduction (M. Driscoll, J. Kaplan); Feeding and Defecation (L. Avery, J.H. Thomas); Chemotaxis and Thermotaxis (C.I. Bargmann, I. Mori); Genetic and Environmental Regulation of Dauer Larva Development (D.L. Riddle, P.S. Albert); Neural Plasticity (E.M. Jorgensen, C. Rankin); Environmental Factors and Gene Activities That Influence Life Span (C. Kenyon); Evolution (D.H.A. Fitch, W.K. Thomas); Parasitic Nematodes (M. Blaxter, D. Bird)


Appendix 1. Genetics (J. Hodgkin): A. Genetic Nomenclature; B. List of Laboratory Strain and Allele Designations, C. Skeleton Genetic Map, D. List of Characterized Genes; Appendix 2. Neurotransmitter Assignment for Specific Neurons (J.B. Rand, M.L. Nonet); Appendix 3. Codon Usage in C. elegans (P.M. Sharp, K.R. Bradnam); Appendix 4. Online C. elegans Resources (M.L. Edgley, C.A. Turner, D.L. Riddle)



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