1st Edition

Paramecium Genetics and Epigenetics

By Geoffrey Beale, John R. Preer, Jr. Copyright 2008
    214 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    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.

    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.


    Geoffrey Beale, John R. Preer Jr.,

    "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