Paramecium : Genetics and Epigenetics book cover
1st Edition

Genetics and Epigenetics

ISBN 9780415257855
Published March 27, 2008 by CRC Press
214 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The techniques used to decipher the genetic makeup of species as well as epigenetic mechanisms are essential for explaining life forms and studying their DNA. As a eukaryotic model, Paramecium is well suited for genetic analysis. Taking a rather unconventional view of genetics, Paramecium: Genetics and Epigenetics explores how to use this protozoan as a basis for studying complex cells.

The book discusses various aspects of Paramecium, including the cortex, the cytoplasm, nuclei, asexual fission, conjugation, autogamy,macronuclear regeneration, cytogamy, life cycle phases, and behavior. It examines the assorted mating types of the genus and how these mating types are determined. It also elucidates some techniques that identify genetically defined genes with the DNA from a library that comprises those genes and details the genetic, epigenetic, chemical, and molecular facets of several different traits. In addition, the authors chronicle the history and reemergence of investigating RNA and DNA in Paramecium.

With many powerful tools now available, Paramecium research is entering a new frontier in molecular biology. A full account of Paramecium genetics, this book presents a wealth of time-consuming observations and remarkable phenomena that will lead to a better understanding of complex cells.

Table of Contents

The Early Workers
Discarded Hypotheses
Mating Types in Paramecium
Mating Types and the Species Problem in Ciliates
General Description of the Protista and Paramecium
The Life Cycle
Methods of Studying Genetic Processes in Organisms of the Paramecium aurelia Species Group
Isolation of Cells and Preparation of Pure Clones
Obtaining Complementary Mating Types
Mendelian Transmission
Caryonidal Transmission
Cytoplasmic Transmission
Methods of Identifying Genetically Defined Genes with Their DNA
The Determination of Mating Types in Paramecium
Caryonidal Inheritance
The Cytoplasmic Effect
Independence of the Cytoplasmic Effect and the Phenotype
The O* Phenotype: A New Cytoplasmic State
The Pure E Mutant
Micronuclear Determination
Mating Types in Species Other Than Those in the P. aurelia Complex
A Hypothesis to Explain Mating Type Inheritance
Symbionts and Mitochondria of Paramecium
The Plasmagene Hypothesis
The Kinds of Symbionts
The Metagon
Determination of I-Antigens
The Immobilization Test and Serotypes
The Genetic System of I-Antigens
Chemistry and Molecular Biology of I-Antigens
Control of Expression of I-Antigen Genes

Ploidy Levels
Activity of Micronuclei and Macronuclei
Programmed Chromosomal Breaks and Telomeres
Internal Eliminated Sequences
Induced Mendelian Deletions
Maintaining Genic Balance at Macronuclear Division
The Paramecium Genome Project
Nuclear Dualism
Ribosomal RNA and DNA
The Early Work of Findly and Gall
More Recent Studies
Micronuclear DNA and a Model
Cortical Morphogenesis
Double Animals
Cortical Mutants
Cell Models
Measuring the Electric Properties of the Cell Membrane
The Avoiding Reaction
Ion Channels
Behavioral Responses Other Than the Avoiding Reaction
Symbionts and Mitochondria
Serotype Inheritance
Mating Type Inheritance
Cortical Inheritance
Homology-Dependent Inheritance
References appear at the end of each chapter.

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"This book has been long awaited . . . not a mere history or a collection of scientific results, but a dynamic and realistic overview because the authors themselves have been involved in most of the work . . . an excellent textbook . . ."

– Terue Harumoto, Biological Science, Nara Women’s University, in The Quarterly Review of Biology, June 2009, Vol. 84, No. 2

"In this excellent and concise book, the pre-eminent authors provide an overview of the 70 years of research on genetics and epigenetic phenomena and mechanisms in a model eukaryote, Paramecium . . . The format of the book with clearly defined chapters and subheadings in conjunction with well- presented tables, diagrams and a comprehensive index enables the reader to easily identify areas of interest . . . will be very useful for students and researchers alike."

– Jun Gong, Natural History Museum, London, in Microbiology Today, Nov 2008